Lean and Stojanovic Say Farewell

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By Scott Davidson

The Melbourne Vipers return to the State Volleyball Centre for the final time in Season 2022 of the Australian Volleyball League this weekend for their final home and away match-up against the Queensland Pirates.

The Womens Vipers have booked their tickets to the AVL Finals already however that doesn’t mean that they won’t want to perform in front of their home crowd this weekend in what will be the final time that both captain Kelly Lean and former Australian teammate Monique Stojanovic will play together at home here in Victoria.  Kelly Lean recently stood down as captain of the Womens Volleyroos squad and will now also be stepping down as captain from the Melbourne Vipers at the end of the 2022 season.  Though this will be the last time Victoria sees Kelly put on a Vipers uniform at home, she promises to remain in the sport.

“I love volleyball, I won’t walk way entirely but a few months to get life on track and focus in on a few other things that have taken priority now. I love coaching more than playing now, so I’ll be back in some capacity I hope” 

Kelly Lean and Monique Stojanovic have had a strong bond over the years, representing not only the Melbourne Vipers but also having travelled the world as part of the Australian Womens Volleyroos squad.  Kelly reminisces her memories playing with Monique, putting their success down to the foundation of trust that they’ve been able to build with one another. 

“She’s unique, she’s tough, she’s generous and she’s made me be a far better player and teammate. We play well together because there’s a lot of trust there. She comes across pretty full on, but she’s incredibly caring and kind.  When I broke my hand on tour, she was the first one cutting up my food, doing my washing, helping me get dressed and buy me a beer at the airport when the job is done.”

Lean sets Stojanovic

As a junior, Lean admits she was too timid and shy to try out for the school team before eventually being convinced by friends. 

“When I first got to Upwey High, luckily I had 1 or 2 friends that played in the school volleyball team.  I’d play at lunch time with them and eventually, Peter Bundy (coach) asked me to join the team after seeing me in the stadium.”

In 2022, her final year, fans may have noticed Lean wearing “Maher” on the back of her playing tops.  This is the ultimate homage to her mother, Dianne. 

“Raised by a single Mum, who really went above and beyond to make my volleyball career happen. She would never ask for recognition but I felt that if there was something I could give her, it would be to finish with her name on my back”

The Mens Vipers will face-off against the Pirates with nothing to lose this weekend as they set themselves the challenge of sinking the Pirate ship after missing out on qualifying for the AVL Finals.  They will play at 5pm on Saturday and will return 11am Sunday morning.  Head Coach Josh Cowan remains positive despite the results not falling their way this season. 

“We’ve seen some great development from younger members such as Changmin Lee, Alexander Bye and Daniel Cleary.  Hoping to challenge top of the ladder QLD and provide the platform for a strong final weekend.”

The Mens Vipers will too be supporting the Womens Vipers as they look set to represent Victoria at the AVL Finals, Cowan adding that this weekend will be a special occasion to not only finalise the Men’s season but also to show their support of the Womens team and especially, Lean and Stojanovic.

“We’d just like to thank all of the support we have received this year, it’s been great and hopefully we can send two legends in Monique and Kelly out with a bang”.

Volleyball Victoria would like to congratulate all Melbourne Vipers players, coaches, support staff and the fans who have turned out this year on the 2022 Season.  While it has sure had it’s challenges, the program continues to evolve and we appreciate the Volleyball Victoria community supporting the highest level indoor volleyball in our state.

Volleyball Victoria extends a congratulations to both Kelly Lean and Monique Stojanovic for their involvement with Volleyball Victoria, the Melbourne Vipers, the sport and the community as a whole.  We wish you all the very best with your future endeavours and hope that wherever life takes you, you’ll never stray too far from volleyball.

All matches will be live-streamed via streaming partner Cluch. Make sure to register an account and watch this weekend’s matches with all proceeds going directly into the Vipers program.

You can also follow the Melbourne Vipers on Facebook and Instagram and be sure to check out the Melbourne Vipers Viper Pit – the official Melbourne Vipers Website! 

Tickets for Round 7’s home match vs Queensland Pirates are available by CLICKING HERE!



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