The 2017 Varsity Challenge Review

The 2017 Varsity Challenge went down the wire. Monash had a point to prove after narrowly going down in 2016, the drive to regain our rightful trophy was clear to see.

Results

Cricket – Monash won by 65 runs

TeamMONASH reclaiming the overall 2017 Varsity Challenge
over the University of Melbourne. Picture:
Melbourne University Sport. 
Badminton women – Melbourne won 2 – 2

Badminton men – Monash won 2 – 1

Basketball women – Monash won 54 – 33

Basketball men – Monash won 69 – 65

Soccer women – Melbourne won 9 – 0

Soccer men – Melbourne won 2 - 1

Ultimate Frisbee – Monash won 13 – 8

Table tennis women – Monash won 2 – 1

Table tennis men – Monash won 3 – 0

Volleyball women – Melbourne won 2 – 1

Volleyball men – Melbourne won 3 – 0

Touch football – Melbourne won 6 – 5

Hockey women – Monash won 2 – 1

Hockey men – Melbourne won 2 – 1

Monash reclaimed the Varsity Challenge trophy, winning 8 – 7 overall.


Player Reflections

The 2017 Varsity Challenge proved to be a memorable one.

With Melbourne staging a late and dramatic comeback on the final day of competition, Monash held its nerve to bring home the overall trophy 8 wins to 7.

Monash started off strong with a convincing win in the cricket.

Monash’s cricket captain Sachin Varadarajan reviewed the match “I think we dominated right through. I was really happy with our opening total, 180 should win most T20 matches."

“We also backed up our total with brilliant bowling, taking 3 wickets in the first 2 overs.”

“It was a very enjoyable match to play, made better by the convincing win.”

The Monash University cricket team in the 2017 T20 Varsity Challenge cricket game. Picture: TeamMONASH

Olympian table tennis player and Monash’s very own Heming Hu competed in the Varsity challenge, helping Monash to take out the Men’s table tennis.

"The game was actually quite tough to start with, said Heming.

“I grew up playing a fair bit with my opponent from Melbourne who's a very talented player and has represented Victoria in many occasions at the junior and senior national championships.”

“I felt like I had to win that match because of expectations, the conditions were definitely interesting.”

Monash University's Heming Hu returning serve against his University of Melbourne opponent. Picture: Michael Hoang.

“It was loud, crowded and heated, which was fun but difficult to play in.”

“The first set Steven (University of Melbourne) came out swinging hard at me and I lost the first set quite easily and knew I had to fight hard to get through.

“I started to tighten my game up and grovelled through to get a comfortable 3-1 win after that.”

Monash’s table tennis squad was littered with high-class players, including Rossa To who will be competing for Australia at the World University Games later this year.

She commented on the quality of the competition saying that the “standard of talent was high.”

Rossa said she had connection to the competition as she “felt special to be part of a new history.”

Rossa To serving in the 2017 Varsity Challenge against University of Melbourne. Picture: Michael Hoang.

Monash’s men’s soccer team looked for revenge over a quality Melbourne side who beat them in the gold medal match in Perth.

Both Monash and Melbourne added several high-profile players, with Monash bringing in dominant midfielder Ryan Losty from NPL2 side Eastern Lions.

Ryan reviewed the game saying “We dominated possession, unlucky for us not to get the result. Looking to better them up on the Gold Coast.”

Ryan was unlucky not to score an unbelievable goal to seal a dramatic comeback, instead his shot, from well outside the box, hit the crossbar.

Midfield Thomas Lakic dribbling the ball in the Varsity Challenge against the University of Melbourne. Picture: TeamMONASH

Hockey produced two heart stopping results.

The men looked to have wrapped up the game, having lead for much of the game.

Veteran player Charles Norbury said the “Game was a typically tight affair, with Monash controlling the game for much of it.”

“As is often the case, Melbourne came back late and scored twice to clinch victory.”

The men unfortunately lost in the dying seconds.

However, it was the women’s hockey team who, against all odds, came away with an unlikely victory.

Charles reflected on the game for TeamMONASH and said, “Without a recognised keeper, Monash took the unusual step of playing without a goal keeper for the whole match.”

“To their credit, despite conceding an early goal the girls worked their way back into the game, scoring late to win 2-1.”

Despite the signs showing that Melbourne would make an improbable comeback, the win, by the girl’s hockey team, ensured that Monash would reclaim the Varsity Challenge trophy.

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