After school on Wednesday 30th May, a select group of teachers gathered in the Gym for the Staff vs Year 13 Students Volleyball Match. They had been chosen for their athletic ability, their enthusiasm and their availability at short notice.
The student team consisted of Brian Byun, Jordon Chan, Ricky Hao, Megan Wei, Kimbo Weng, Asnaya Zeynalli and Sabrina Zhang. They were up against a staff team of Mr Cobley, Mr Illek, Mr Maizie, Mr Pinnock, Mr Planchant, Mr Wheeler, Mr Worsley, and myself. The referees were Ms Langham and Mr Zhang and the scorekeepers were David Jang and SangJoon Lee.
As the showdown commenced and the two teams squared off on either side of the net, the magnitude of what was at stake started to take its toll. The students looked nervous…this was for the pride of their year group and their opponents appeared surprisingly pumped up! Meanwhile, on the other side of the net, underneath this thin veil of confidence, Coaches Cobley and Worsley surveyed their team with a mixture of concern and disappointment. The true extent of their teammates’ inexperience had only become apparent in the twenty minute warm-up time where they had been forced to explain not only the rules but also how to hit the ball.
The staff got off to a shocking start, losing the first set 25-5. In all honesty, this was probably an accurate reflection of the difference in coordination of the two teams; the students would follow a well-rehearsed routine to set each other up for point-winning shots whilst the staff would desperately scramble around in a bid to connect any available limb with the ball.
In the second set, some expert serving from Mr Cobley kept the game level until 15-15 but ultimately the students won this 25-18. In this set there was a period of play where some staff members had to leave early and the replacement staff members had not yet arrived. During this time the students took turns to fill the gap on the staff team. This was a really nice touch that kept the game interesting and may well have been responsible for the closer scoreline in this set.
In the third set, fatigue started to kick in and despite the best efforts of the staff cheerleaders (Ms Usher, Mr Bridgestock and Mr Zhang), the final score was 25-9.
All jokes aside, the game was a lot of fun for both sides and an excellent opportunity to say goodbye to a great group of students. I think we can safely say the better team won.
Dr. Dave Errington