MPhil student Agata Kurczynska combines her love of science and volleyball at Lucy Cavendish

by Agata Kurczynska on 2 July 2015


In Michaelmas Term 2015, I started my MPhil course at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy and at the same time, after a successful trial, I joined the Blues Volleyball Team.

I usually say that I was destined to play Volleyball. My dad has been extremely passionate about volleyball ever since I can remember and he convinced all my family to be volleyball maniacs. He coaches a local team in my hometown. My brother is current Guinness World Record Holder in the longest Beach Volleyball marathon and he is a scoutman for one of the top Polish indoor volleyball women’s team. I really didn't have a choice to not play so I have played for 11 years now.

The University Team plays in the Premier South Division of the BUCS league which means that during the season we played against the strongest teams from all British Universities. Our coach Dr. Alice Hsieh had to build the squad without any prior foundation. The beginning of the season was tough and we lost 4 of our first 5 games. However, with time passing, we improved our play during training sessions, learnt how to perform well as a team and in the rematch round, we won 4 of 5 games! 

Our successful second part of the season and winning games with confidence and huge points advantage made it possible for us to take third place in the league and qualify for the BUSC finals during which the top 8 teams compete.

Finally, we ended up on in 6th place, with positive thoughts for next season that we were not so far away from the top 4 and getting a prestigious Blues title.

Apart of the league games, we also played the Varsity Game. Although we lost 3:0, the result does not show correctly how tight this match was. We performed our best, we were leading but we did not have enough strength to win the most important points in the end of the sets.

The grant I received from College, allowed me to cover all expenses related to representing our University. Playing in the Blues team was amazing experience for me, the chance to spend time with incredible people who I share a passion with and to do what I love most – volleyball … and of course science at the same time.