Confidence is running high in the Green and Gold camp. After a sensational whitewash of NTU in this year’s first Super Wednesday, UoN have the chance to do it all over again after the Easter break in the second Super Wednesday of the series.
Impact Sport caught up with UoN Dodgeball, one of teams hoping that lightning will strike twice.
“I don’t think many people realise that we’re pretty good at this.”
Catcher and committee Vice President, Marc Megginson is anxious to get going, and relishes the pressure that Varsity competition brings:
“Pressure brings out the best in me, I’m best in situations when I have nothing to lose on the court.”
Ladies A-Team Captain, Kathryn Thomas, is a little more cautious, but nonetheless excited to get out on the court:
“I definitely have the competition bug, and in general I play much better under pressure. However, when the stakes are high little mistakes can really cost you so it can be hard to come back from a difficult set or match.”
That moment when you win the university open!!!! ???? pic.twitter.com/WONcBRV8wL
— UoN Dodgeball (@UoN_Dodgeball) November 6, 2016
How have you found playing for UoN? How do you think you’ve added to the team?
Marc: “I’ve loved every second of it. I Came into this year with a lot of ideas on how to play and how to improve and with the help of the team we’ve managed to work to each other’s strengths. Most players look towards me to be the vocal or ideas person, but within our team I’m just another player. Everyone has equal say in our team and my role is mainly to sign the dotted line at the end of a game.”
Kathryn: “It’s been an honour to captain such a motivated and tight team this year. As everyone is so motivated, I just make sure everyone knows where and when we are playing, and help plan our tactics for the meets. I’ve been very lucky to captain and play for the university, and I hope that the girls have enjoyed playing under me as much as I’ve loved captaining them.”
“A lot of people didn’t expect us to make much of a comeback this year”
Marc is eager to see how some of the new faces will fair this year, and tells us to look out for Adon Emery and Josh Mitchell. Kathryn is particularly excited to see Anna Wallace and Mariam Habib out on court.
Unfortunately, one member of the team, Sam Ward, will be unable to play due to a fractured finger.
To add further difficulty, the squad took heavy cuts to its arsenal with players graduating at the end of last year, but Kathryn and Marc have been impressed with how the team has managed to maintain performances.
Marc: “Even Though we lost some very good players, with the changes we’ve made this year in our tactics and playing style I feel that we’re an even stronger outfit this time around.”
Kathryn: “A lot of people didn’t expect us to make much of a comeback this year after losing so many personnel, including two international players. But we’ve shown that we are still worth keeping an eye on, with one of the top three women’s university teams in the country! Myself and two other players are leaving after this year, but I’m confident in the ladies who are taking over to keep the side competitive.”
Both have high expectations for how this year’s Varsity will pan-out for UoN, and rightly so. The Men’s A-team are currently the best university team in the country, winning the University Open at the start of the season and undefeated in the league this year, with three games to go until they lift the title.
Results from Men's As:
UoN 14 – 0 UCL
UoN 12 – 2 Portsmouth
UoN 9 – 5 Warwick 1st
— UoN Dodgeball (@UoN_Dodgeball) March 5, 2017
Kathryn: “I’m going to go in confident with another 3-0 win to UoN, although there’s potential for a little upset this year I think! It should be an exciting hour so come and check it out.”
Marc: “I played in the Men’s game last year which was a great win for us to get back at Trent for beating us in University Cup. We’ve been confident going into every fixture this year but we’re not complacent, every game is a must win game for us.”
— UoN Dodgeball (@UoN_Dodgeball) November 6, 2016
Both have concerns over how immediate Super Wednesday comes after the Easter break. Kathryn is aware that a lot of hard work will be needed in just the two hours of training time they will have after everyone gets back, but Marc is keen to point out that most players have been involved in sport over Easter to keep their fitness up.
What are your strengths as an individual player, and the team in general?
Marc: “As an individual player my strengths are staying alive, making smart decisions on court and catching my team back in if we need it. As a team, we have the perfect mix of players. We play a very tactical game which everyone has a huge part in.”
Kathryn: “I can hold my own throwing with the boys and I’m pretty accurate, looking for sneaky foot or shoulder shots where possible!”
“I think my main strength is my experience, I’ve been playing for nearly four years now, and sometimes you just need the balls… if you’ll excuse the pun… to look at a dodgeball coming at you at 50+ mph and think: ‘Right. I need to catch that.”
Kathryn is unsure on what to expect in terms of attendances, but has a strong case for why people should want to come down and watch:
“Not being a BUCS sport, we don’t get much publicity from the Uni so I don’t think many people realise that we’re pretty good at this. We are current Men’s University champions and our women consistently place in the top three university teams. Trent won the University Cup last year so it is a good standard of competition, and we like to think a good showcase of the sport.”
See if she’s right on Wednesday 10th May at the Lee Westwood Sports Centre.
Follow @ImpactVarsity17 on Twitter or like the Impact Sport Facebook page for more updates and information on how to get involved.
— Lauren Heria (@UoNSU_Sports) May 5, 2017