Sydney Uni has shown strong early performances on Day 1 of the 2015 Australian University Games on the Gold Coast.

Hoping to repeat last year’s record 18 pennants performance, teams were ready to display their dominance in Australia’s largest annual multisport event.

On the football field, the men’s first match up against Vic Uni was a close encounter going into half time at 0-0. Coach, John Curran made some critical changes at half time which resulted in a 1 -0 win. The women’s squad also got off to a hot start in their opening encounter against Wollongong Uni. Coming in as favourites on the back of their 2014 gold medal result, the squad scored in the opening minutes. Toe to toe, Wollongong clawed their way back into the match with a goal of their own from a set piece. The girls knuckled down from there and did not concede another goal, scoring 4 more of their own to come away victorious, 5-1.

Hockey men opened there campaign against Griffith University. Every game was always going to be a challenge taking to the pitch with four players never having competed before. They fought hard but ended up conceding 3 goals and only scoring 1. The second clash did not fare much better going down to University of Queensland, 7-0. Meanwhile, the women’s team had a comfortable win against arch enemies UNSW. They managed to close the game getting 11 goals in the back of the net to 1, with standout striking from Emily Catersson who scored 5 goals.

Men’s handball also claimed a solid first up win over Vic Uni, 22-11.

Going for gold in golf, Sydney Uni began their opening round even par 72. Ben Murray leads the way for the Boys team, while Hunter Hordern is next best with a 3 over 75. Tim Felan and Matt Dane both shot 76’s and Kristian Hooker hit an 80 to round out the men. The girls, however, didn’t fare so well but are hoping improve their scores going forward.

Looking to steal the limelight that the women’s team has had for the past few years, the Men’s basketball won both games after being down. Rob Dewar scored the first points of the competition with a two hand dunk, also taking top scorer for the day and has been best player so far. Dave Hazzard sparked the team’s comeback against Wollongong with a quick 7 point individual spurt in the fourth quarter. Marcel bray closed out the Wollongong game with steals on two of their last three possessions to ensure they didn’t get a shot off in the last minute. Not to be outdone, the women’s team once again showed their might, securing winning baskets to progress to Day 2.

Baseball began with a huge 19-2 win over Western Sydney. This game gave Sydney Uni a good opportunity to try out some younger and newer players against a weaker team. Great performances from the starting pitcher, Joseph Selwyn and some solid hitting from Joseph and Alex Mills, who got the game MVP. A special mention goes to first timer, Dhanuka Dissanayake, who got some big hits. Uni games are all about participation and for someone who has never played before it didn’t show. Overall, it was a quick and tidy game where the lads went out and got the job done.

Netball didn’t have the dream start they were hoping for on the courts. Unfortunately, the draw was changed for this year combining both Division 1 and 2 into five pools in a round robin before play-offs. Despite a gallant effort without team manager, Nadia Moore, who was unable to play due to illness, the girls had two losses: 39-25 against Queensland and 44-14 against Melbourne Uni. Here’s hoping Sydney Uni can claim a Day 2 win.

Table Tennis also had a tough draw for Day 1, with the men’s team taking on arguably the top 2 teams other than themselves. Though they lost 6-5 to Queensland and 8-3 to UNSW, they managed to snag a win in their final match, winning 11-0 over James Cook Uni. The team will be seeking some revenge in the knock out stage later this week. Sydney Uni women won their only match of the day 6-5 against UTS.

The cricket team, coached by SUCC Director of Cricket, Gary Whitaker, and filled with predominately SUCC cricketers, has made a flying start in the T20 Cricket Tournament. USYD XI took on Bond Uni in their opening afternoon clash, with Captain Ben Trevor-Jones continuing his T20 form from the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup in the USYD innings, belting a composed yet dashing 60 from 46 balls. He was well supported Jack Holloway with 28 from 32 balls. The impressive team set the daunting total of 147 from their 20 overs.

Bond were never really in the hunt against a strong pace attack including Dugald Holloway, Joe Kershaw and Jim Ryan, and were kept to a paltry 76 runs in reply. The cricket campaign continues today against Griffith University from 9am, with the big clash against arch rivals UNSW scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Semi-finals will take place on Thursday with the Grand Final on Friday.

Volleyball started the week off well. Sydney Uni men had one game against Australian National University. Despite a slow start, the boys came good and pulled through for a 3-1 win. Liam Elkington and Dustin Lam were strong from the outside, while young blood Pinyan Gao did a good job setting and running the offence. Our women had a similar start taking on The University of Wollongong, winning comfortably, 3-0.

Our men’s and women’s badminton teams enjoyed mixed results on Day 1 of competition. The women’s team dominated RMIT (4-1) and Macquarie (3-2), while the men had tight matches against Griffith (2-3) and ANU (0-5) but couldn’t get the crucial points to claim the overall matches. There’s another tough day ahead with the men facing UTS and RMIT, while the women face strong UWA and Monash teams.

On the cycling front, Sydney Uni was the only team that placed 2 riders in the top 8. In the 80km road race, Emily Kempson and Ella Bloor completed a very good tactical race to finish 6th and 8th respectively. Our men’s riders didn’t have as much luck with Jason Hotten (12th) and Robert Car (15th) doing very well considering the hot conditions and the average of 40km/hr for the entire race. The team travels back to Murwillumbah tomorrow for Pairs Time Trial where they are hoping to improve on their overall points tally.

Captain and Elite Athlete, Nicola Maitland, could only marvel at the performances of her unseasoned youngsters as the USYD Softball team swept aside Australian Catholic University (9-2) and Melbourne University (21-1). All girls got their names on the score sheet, which will prove to be a great confidence boost for the team. Tough games against Macquarie & Monash on Day 2 will certainly give the girls a good understanding of their title credentials.

Ultimate Frisbee has kicked off with a bang thanks to some inspiring tactics by Coach, Brett Latham. Latham had the teams firing with huge wins over Macquarie University. The women won 15-2 and the men 15-4. Teams are ready for Day 2 battles with ANU (Women) and Melbourne (Men) tomorrow.

Tennis experienced mixed results. USYD women’s team earnt an impressive 4-1 win over Melbourne Uni, while the men tried hard but eventually went down against Macquarie.

Day 1 at the athletics track and field competition at Griffith University saw the running of several heats, in which many USYD athletes progressed through. The team are looking strong in the decathlon, currently sitting in third place with half of the event to go. Highlights from Day 1 field events program include: sixth place for Maddie Bergfield; eighth place for Katrina Blackett; and fifth for Matt Mountfort in hammer. Sydney University completed a solid first day of competition, winning both the men’s and women’s medley relays on the track. Since 2010 Sydney Uni Athletics has won the Women’s title 4 times with the Men going for their 6th straight title.

Convincing victories were secured by Sydney University’s futsal teams with the men defeating USQ 6-1 and the women’s team beating Deakin 14-1 and Monash 7-1. Day 2 of competition sees the women’s team up against AU and Bond, while the men’s team will take on LTU.

The Students opened their 2015 AUG campaign at Bond University with a comprehensive 52-nil win over Monash in the men’s rugby sevens, with James Kane named man of the match. The second fixture against the Eagles from Avondale looked promising before the Eagles scored three on-the-trot, giving the Students a bit of a scare. The Students brushed this off quickly though, producing a 47-17 victory, with Sam Nery earning man of the match. It’s a full schedule for the Students on Day 2 as they take on UC, UQ and ACU.

The USYD squash team competed against Melbourne and Monash, with the women claiming a first-round win against Melbourne and a close on-points victory against Monash in the second round (each team finishing on two matches-all). The men’s team were beaten by Monash, but they defeated Melbourne. The women’s team take on Melbourne again and UWA on Day 2, while the men will compete against UNSW and Games host-university, Bond.

Waterpolo won both games.  There was a notable performance from Paul Sindone, with his 4 goals helping the team to beat QUT, 11-10. In the second game the boys showed a big improvement in defence to beat Melbourne Uni 6-5. Some magic from James Butcher with 2 goals helping them get over the line. Good to see improvement in the performances and hopefully should continue against UTS tomorrow.

Womens touch had an undefeated Day 1, beating UTS and coming out victorious from their 2014 gold medal rematch. Strongest players were Zara Nicholas, as well as Julia Georos killing it on the wing.  The men’s crew had mixed results as they lost the second match by 1 to UTS. Strong players included Luke Harborne and Paddy Coelho.

Sydney University’s sailing team members enjoyed a day off with official competition commencing today.

All Sydney Uni teams are donning #usydgameface and are primed for Day 2 with their sights set on the ultimate goal of bringing back the trophy.