Ja­pan trip a first for club

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Looklocalwa.com.au -

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.

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