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A fantastic year for the Women’s Pool team saw them awarded LUSU’s Team of the Year on Saturday Week 7. Their astounding success against other universities, as well as their great team relationship has earned them this prestigious award.
The women dominated in their two main events of the year: Roses and the BUCS competition. They did Lancaster proud in York, despite rowdy behaviour from York’s spectators. Out of nine games, they had already won by the sixth. Molly Chambers, Vicky Hives, captain Katy Thomas, Charlotte Baker and April Zhou effortlessly won their games, each the best of three frames. With victory in the bag, the remaining players continued to pummel York, with Rebecca Wilson and Hayat Kara also winning their games. This resulted in a phenomenal 7-2 win to Lancaster for the 2015 away Roses, gaining us four easy points towards the total, and allowing Lancaster to retain some much needed dignity.
The BUCS competition took place in February, in which Filson Tarsey, Baker, Kara, Zhou, Gemma Pollock and Thomas formed the 1st team, playing a game each in pursuit of Lancaster’s victory. Their league included Manchester, Surrey, Liverpool, UCL and York. The team won every single game, soaring to the top of their league. The highlight of the event was Baker’s incredible winning shot, doubling the white to pot the black across the entire length of the table. Everyone erupted – what a spectacular way to win the league. The seconds came fourth in their league, but were proud to have beaten last year’s overall champions, Nottingham. In the individual league, Lancaster’s Tarsey made it to the quarterfinals.
However, it is not just these fantastic successes that made Women’s Pool the team of the year. The women have created a strong team spirit against all odds. It must be remembered that in addition to university pool, many of the team also represent their college team. This means they have often had to face each other competitively in the college leagues. Captain Thomas told SCAN that ‘it has been lovely to see that the usual rivalry created by college pool has been ignored for university pool’. The girls have practiced together every week and held mini competitions between themselves, which has allowed them to set aside college differences and form an exceptionally strong team.
As captain, Thomas has made an effort to raise her team’s profile; she believes women’s sports need drawing attention to, ‘as they are often overlooked, especially in bar sports’. She has seized every opportunity to talk about the team and how well they are doing, and has attempted to bridge the gap between college and university sport to encourage participation. Despite the assumption that pool is a male dominated sport, she speaks highly of Lancaster’s Men’s team, who have supported and practiced with them throughout the year.
Although she is sad that she and many of her teammates are leaving Lancaster this year, Thomas told SCAN proudly: ‘the whole team are so incredible, and have all held their own and proved the value of women’s pool. Their dedication has been unparalleled and I’m sure many of them will go on to play pool at a county level.’ No doubt she will be back to visit and support next year.