Japan trip a first for club
THE UWA men’s volleyball team will make history this week as the first Australian team to take part in the invitation-only FLV International Championships in Japan.
The 13-strong squad landed in Tokyo this week ahead of the competition, which is one of the country’s biggest and most prestigious club tournaments, with US$5000 prize money on offer.
More than 220 teams from Mongolia, Hong Kong, Japan and the inaugural Australian team will descend on the city for the tournament.
The team scored a wildcard into the top of the five divisions, a challenge that coach Matt Hender (26) said he was looking forward to.
“We were last year’s WA Volleyball League premiers, so we will give it a good crack,” he said.
“For us, it’s just about soaking up the opportunity and seeing what the tournament has to offer.”
Mr Hender, who studies chiropractic science at Murdoch University, said students did not have to attend UWA to be a part of the team.
“We train and do gym sessions here, but most of the guys don’t go to UWA,” he said.
“The name is just affiliated (with the university).
“Preparing for Japan has been a really good addition to our preseason training, and we’re super excited to get over there and represent UWA and Australia.”
The tournament runs from March 16 to 19.
Alicia Molik was in sparkling form, dropping only two games.