The Women’s Varsity game promised to be close and with plenty of great shots, as this year Uni had their minds set on winning after some close calls with the Trent Side. The first half was a mix-up of some great aggressive hustles with some clumsy passes which often cost Uni possession. Uni generally lacked pace and aggression both in defence and under the basket, making it easy for Trent to exploit open spaces due to a flaccid zone defence. This was a particular problem in the first half, as Trent’s Blake had plenty of opportunities in the short-corner for some great open shots as Uni struggled to get a hand in front of her. This wasn’t helped by some clumsy passes around the key that often cost Uni a potential basket, and Trent’s defence were quick to predict some of Uni’s plays, meaning the guaranteed open shots were no longer available. However, the score at the end of the first half was still promising, as a battle between the two point guards Michalak and Uni’s Tina Papadeki, was often won by a quick and skilful Papadeki who was able to make some great drives to the basket.
The second half provided more opportunities for Uni to exploit, as Trent’s Blake was injured following a bad landing after fouling a Uni player under the basket, and a switch around of players meant the team were refreshed and seemed to be more alert. However, Uni kept falling behind, while Trent kept up the aggression, and Uni were unable to convert shots and rebounds into baskets, despite being the taller team. Hustles began to go in Trent’s favour, and Uni’s zone defence still presented issues as Trent’s best shooters were left open. However, Uni’s Demainte Zilenaite made a great 3-point shot whilst Amelia Reynolds and Captain Agne Silyerte increased defence efforts with some great blocks and rebounds.
With a stronger 3rd quarter but still 9 baskets down, the home team had a lot of work to do in the 4th quarter. More fast-breaks by Points Tina and Amelia provided Uni with some well needed lay-ups, and Posts Marie and Anne-Marie were catching far more rebounds off both baskets. Uni were drawing in more fouls, demonstrating that the adrenaline had kicked in and the pressure was on. Two of Trent’s starting five had also been fouled out of the game, meaning Trent’s side could be further weakened. However, time was not on their side and the game ended 49-55 to Trent. President Jemma Jackson stayed positive after the game saying “I have never seen so much passion from the girls. We desired the win and if the first half hadn’t have let us down so much we probably would have won that game.” Whilst the team may be frustrated that they didn’t come away with a win, the game was full of great opportunities for the crowd to go wild, and the final quarter was a testament to just how skilful and determined the women’s basketball team really are.
Images by Aniec Lu