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The Lancaster Women’s Basketball team last year picked up an unprecedented league and cup double. Defeating Leeds Carnegie 2nds in the cup 65-55 and topping the league on the last game of the season. Not only did they convincingly claim silverware but they capped off a tremendous year by destroying York at Roses too! Now in the Northern Division 1a conference they face tougher competition, shown by narrowly losing their opening fixture to Newcastle by a single point. However confidence still remains high at one of Lancaster’s most in-form teams. With games on their side, promotion to the Northern Premier Division is still a distinct possibility.
Current President, Stellar Homer and Captain Damla Tonuk both take over the reins from championship winning President Deborah Acquaah who with her Captain, Vasiliki Makou led the squad to a very memorable previous year. Homer expressed the team’s desire “to be building on last year’s success in order to keep our spot as one of the top university teams in the top league!” However Homer also recognised the challenges new teams, with differing skill levels in a new league, will bring to a refreshed team. With 8 new players joining the squad, the team will have to gel swiftly if they want to continue their vein run of form.
The agonising defeat to Newcastle that started the team’s season was described by Homer as a “point for point battle, right up until full time”; he went on to tell SCAN, “after a long three hour bus ride we were hugely disappointed to lose by just one point”. Despite their first loss of the year they were able to see how the new team worked well and where it could improve, ultimately gaining positives from a valiant performance.
The team draws on players from a wealth of countries; from areas of Mediterranean Europe to as far away as China via the USA and Uganda, this year’s collection of players unite from all corners of the globe, with one common bond; Basketball. The diverse multi-national squad are helped by an equally cultured group of coaches – Carlos Gonzalez Mota from Spain and Paul from the USA – as they look to develop an already strong team.
The “old girls” – Jacky Zhang, Claudia Tse and the already mentioned Stellar Homer – bring the dedication, determination and experience from last year’s double winning team into the 2013/14 season. These players, having already established themselves within the squad, provide the much needed leadership and guidance to help new players settle into the new team.
The girls’ first home game will be played on the 6th of November against the University of Central Lancashire Women’s 1sts, with the tip-off scheduled for 6:30pm in the Sports Centre. Homer expressed; “We are super excited for our first home game and hope to see as many of you there as possible, we need your support!” Lancaster’s female basketballers have every reason to build on the accolades received last year, so keep an eye out for their progress this year as the team look to win back-to-back promotions.