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With an incredible year of achievement behind them, Lancaster University’s netball squad are looking to reinforce and surpass their successes this coming season.
A league win and two Roses victories away at York mean that there is unquestionable expectation that rests upon this year’s squads – an expectation that the squad is taking with nothing but excitement and sheer determination.
The club is comprised of three teams; the Firsts, the Seconds and the Thirds, who all compete in British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions and the Northern Universities Netball League (NUNL).
The 2010-2011 season was a major success for the Seconds in particular, who saw off competition from their University of Central Lancashire rivals to win the Northern Conference League 5a. Their win-to-loss ratio was one of the best across the sports teams at the University and also earned them a nomination in the LUSU Sports Awards.
Nevertheless, success was evident across the board as the Firsts and Thirds racked up credible wins at the prestigious Roses tournament in May. The former experienced a nail-bitingly close game against their York counterparts, where even up until the final whistle either team could have won. It luckily concluded in Lancaster’s favour, 39-38. The latter team, who despite undergoing another close encounter, met York with strong defence and sheer determination to win a gutsy attacking game, 24-21.
The Thirds also managed to finish second in their league, again demonstrating the success and hard work behind the club as it stands today.
Despite this, the University netball squad are seemingly on a new player recruitment drive. They lost a lot of members at the end of last year due to graduations, placements and academic years abroad meaning that there are places to fill.
This aside, Carla Bayliss, one of the goal-shooters for the thirds last year, said “I think we did an excellent job this past year. Our performance at York really showed the standard of our play and how strong the teamwork and spirit is. I am really looking forward to seeing what the new academic year brings in terms of new players and I am confident we are going to have another very successful and enjoyable netball year. I can’t wait!”
So with Freshers’ Fair on the doorstep, the netball squad are undoubtedly preparing themselves for a busy start to the year with tryouts and team bonding. Hopefully this will all be rewarded with an emulation of winning percentages and an even greater domination at a home Roses tournament.