The Men’s game on Friday is going to be one of speed, strength, and certainly sporting a lot of height. However, the performance of the Women’s team this season has been exceptional, with its players excelling in different technical areas and with Jump shots that even Coach Carter would kneel to. Several members of the team have been with Uni for what feels like decades, having gone through some fantastic highs and some devastating lows over the last few years. Supporting them are members who have joined over the last two years to add to an already solid team dynamic, with players from around the globe, including Sweden, Greece, Lithuania, and the team’s personal favourite, Devon. With a new president, Jemma Jackson and new Coach, The Nottingham Hood’s Lee English, the latest team have been reignited with some new plays and certainly come new strengths.
Whilst the men boost a more all-rounded team, the Women have embraced a more specialised approach, with players improving in specific technical areas in the hope that one player will always be able to exploit a certain situation. Jemma Jackson states “we are not only working together as a team, but also pursuing our own styles. Every player wants to be recognised on the court for a great shot or a great skill, making us more technical, and even more aggressive.” This worked to the team’s advantage in a recent meeting with the Trent side, as despite losing by one basket, allowed them to practice their highly technical plays whilst unveiling Trent’s weaknesses. Jackson has been building on the team’s experience with Trent, stating, “Trent would be naive if they didn’t have it (their experiences with Uni) in the back of their minds. We’re hungry for it.” Bearing in mind that this season’s game was on Trent’s ground, Captain Agne Sileryte is hoping that the home crowd will keep them motivated in securing a craved win against Trent.
Despite having lost in last year’s Varsity game, the team has very much taken advantage of the arrival of new players this semester, with Posts Marie Bruser and Egle Navickaite providing more height, aided by Guards Alma Croft and Sofia Probst from outside the key. There will certainly be some faces to watch. Lithuanian Wing player Deimante Zilenaite appears to have an indefensible 3-point shot, whilst her fellow countrywoman Agne will no doubt squeeze in a few 360 turns under the basket. The speed of Point Guards Tina Papadeki and Wild Cat’s Amelia Reynolds should secure some fast-breaks, and Steph Morgan, despite being one of the shortest players, will be taking advantage of her fast cuts to score some elbow shots. The team would be incomplete without Maria Liljeroth, as she provides the game with Swedish style in the form of her short-corner shots. Lastly, Anne-Marie Wadsworth is invaluable as a one-woman defence and a keen shooter. Leading the team will be Jackson, who’s motivational talk on and off court will keep the team going, whilst her aggression at the 3-point line will give Trent a good run around. Having already proved that themselves and Trent are equally matched, the game this Friday promises to be thrilling and one not to miss.