After the tense last quarter of the Women’s basketball, Varsity netball had a tough act to follow. Tensions were already high before the girls took to the court to warm up and the disappointing loss by the Women’s Basketball team only moments before meant there was even more pressure for the Uni Netball team to win our second Varsity Point.
Once the warm up had finished, the starting 14 took to the court and Uni took the first centre pass of the game. Towards the end of the first quarter Trent started to pull away from Uni, benefiting from a few sloppy passes and a loss in confidence from our shooters. The girls kept fighting to close the gap on Trent’s lead with some fantastic interceptions from Uni, but the first quarter ended Uni 8 – Trent 11.
At the beginning of the second quarter Uni’s nerves took over and a few much needed points were lost. Fortunately as half time loomed, a sudden flare was apparent throughout the team. There was great movement across the court from the centre court players and increased confidence from our shooters resulted in Uni arriving at half time within four goals of Trent.
The Uni team began to look stronger in the third quarter and the team changes were working to their advantage. Trent’s shooters were put under pressure by our goalkeeper and Trent began to loose their composure. Uni equalled for the first time since the first quarter and Trent’s large crowd started to realise their teams lack in form and hounded the home team with constant chanting. This tactic however, did not bear fruit and Uni finished the third quarter in the lead with a last minute goal.
After stepping up to the challenges of the first half of the game, the big question was could Uni keep their lead in the final quarter. Under pressure, Trent gave away vital penalties but they kept on fighting. However, Uni’s fitness got the better of them. Trent scored the last goal of the match but it wasn’t enough to secure the win and Uni won by one point, 21-20. The crowd erupted and the team rejoiced on the court.
We got a quick interview with captain Emily Staite amongst the celebrations and she told Impact the game “Was a real testament to the team as all ten members got a chance to play a great game and that it was their fitness that won it for them.” At half time president Florence Milner was telling the team “that we needed to keep going and that we could do this, they’re a league below us, we’ve been training so hard, we deserve this.” And deserve it they did. After disappointing results for the girls in the last two years and several disappointing games for the University in the Varsity series, the girls finally got us that second point and back into the competition.