Green and Gold relishing home advantage as DRSV gears up for Big BUCS Wednesday

The University of Nottingham is primed to host Big BUCS Wednesday (BBW) this year, with the BUCS season coming to a close at the university’s David Ross Sports Village. There are 52 finals set to take place in 14 different sports, of which the University of Nottingham are in eleven finals. It is set to be an exciting couple of days at the sports centre, hosting many of England’s top talents ranging from football to water polo, there’s a wide variety of events taking place which are sure to put on show UoN’s ever-growing sporting pedigree.

The University of Nottingham are set to compete in eleven finals across five sports, including Badminton, Squash, Table Tennis, Hockey and Water polo.  Whilst many of the Green and Gold teams have been fantastic throughout the challenging BUCS season, it is these eleven teams who have been emphatic – to be playing on big BUCS Wednesday, they will give one last effort to brighten up the UoN’s trophy cabinet.

Tickets for the big day can be purchased here, with proceeds from University of Nottingham student and staff tickets going to Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC).

It is in the racquet sports that the university has stood out, with the Men’s Squash and Table Tennis teams as well as the Women’s Badminton, Squash and Table Tennis teams making the finals. Speaking with Martin Lewis, the Head of Performance Badminton, he believes the home advantage in racket sports will make a difference on Wednesday:

“It’s very difficult to control the shuttle in a big hall. Our guys train at DRSV three or four times a week which is going to be a massive advantage”

“As a club we train at 7am in the morning. For a student that is quite difficult, but they are very committed and they are reaping the rewards.”

The home conditions could benefit the University of Nottingham athletes to maximise the quality of their performances. Playing under the same conditions they train in will hopefully give them a boost to overcome the challenging opposition they’ll face on Wednesday. Coach Martin Lewis, however, further pointed out that the Women’s Badminton team have both won and lost one this season against their BBW opposition Loughborough, adding it will be a “very tough but high-quality encounter between the two sides”.

By hosting the event, there is a real feel of positivity around the players, with Table Tennis’ Adam Harrison claiming his team are “expecting to win” with the home advantage and the positive performances the Table Tennis team had been displaying. They haven’t lost a single match this year, yet they also haven’t played their opposition for the final, University College London, in this BUCS season. This could make it an interesting encounter to see if they can replicate their excellent performances against new opposition, despite their flawless record. Both the Men’s and Women’s 1st teams are heading to a final on Wednesday, with both hoping to retain the Championship title won in 2017.

“It will be easier to play” at DRSV, Harrison said of the home dynamic. “We know the way our hall plays and we can plan our day a lot better than if we had to travel. Often at other universities the other halls aren’t as good as ours. We are used to playing in international standard halls, whilst away halls often have a lot of white walls, dodgy floors and poor lighting.”

“we are looking forward to the chance to get our revenge.”

The Women’s Hockey team pulled off a stunning performance against the University of Birmingham in mid-week, winning 3-1 to book their place in the finals. The team finished 3rd in their league, behind Birmingham and Durham, yet pulled off a well-deserved win to seal a tie against a tough Loughborough side last Wednesday. Whilst the Women’s team have never beaten Loughborough, the success of their mid-week win will hopefully spur them on to a victory in front of a home crowd.

Both the 1st and 2nd team of the Men’s and Women’s Squash have made the BUCS finals on Wednesday, showing a clear domination within the sport by UoN. The Women’s 1st team beat Northumbria 5-0 in their semi-final whilst the Men’s 1st team narrowly beat the University of Birmingham 3-2. Both sides will be looking to take the Championship on Wednesday, as well as the 2nd teams in their Trophy finals. Libby Corke and Paul Broadberry spoke to Impact ahead of Squash’s big day at DRSV’s facilities:

LC: “I wanted to come to a uni that let me play squash to the highest level. The facilities, the coaches and the scholarships draw us in quite well.”

“I think the Women’s 1s will win. Our team is just strong. The two second teams are likely to win, whilst the Men’s 1s will be the toughest one.”

PB: “It probably will, yeh. When we played UWE in the league, we narrowly lost 3-2. We could win and it will obviously be very tough, but we are looking forward to the chance to get our revenge.”

“It will be interesting to see who folds, and who is tougher mentally to carry it through under pressure on the day.”

After a convincing 15-4 win over Warwick, the Men’s Water Polo team eased through to the final of the Trophy. They are facing a Manchester team who only narrowly scraped through the semi-finals against Sheffield.

Can our DRSV provide the venue for another successful year for the University of Nottingham? We’ll certainly be there to cheer them on anyway. Best of luck to all those in Green and Gold fighting for a title this Wednesday.

Tristan Simpson

Images: UoN Sport

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