The women’s Blues trained hard all year to follow last year’s victory, but they knew they were up against a tough Cambridge team. The weekend was one of pure determination from every player on the team despite injured knees, heat stroke and loss of sight.
Although there was a shaky start to the Varsity weekend involving missing cars and a car crash (curtesy of Oli Nunn), the women’s Blues were ready to fight. The singles rounds began with Eloise Hamilton breezing through in her calm & steady manner and Megumi Kitazato hustling a 3-setter winning it 7-5 in the third. However, even with a dramatic full body cramp Ross Martin-style from the opposition (Kureha Yamaguchi), the Oxford side were 4-2 down going into the doubles round. With coach Ed Isard’s doubles tactics on theirside, the Dark Blues finished the day only 7-5 down and hungry for victory the next day.
Having been taken out by hayfever on Saturday during her singles, Mary “All About the Hustle” Strevens was disappointedly swapped out for day 2 as the singles rounds began. Highlights include Megumi giving it her all despite a knee injury in another epic 3-setter, Inda’s sassy game face and Lucy’s cheeky dropshot volleys. Nevertheless, the Cambridge side proved too strong and the Dark Blues entered the final round of doubles 13-5 down. With Varsity lost but determined to keep going the team soldiered on after an inspirational pep talk from Ed.
The final score was 14-7 after strong doubles performances from all pairs, with Lucy & Eloise losing closely in a final set tiebreak. A shout out must go to Nanami & Mariela who won 3/3 doubles over the weekend, winning the Yamaguchi showdown in the final round (to Nanami’s delight).
Overall it was a weekend filled with incredible team spirit and many tears, with great performances from everyone. The Cambridge side proved too strong, but we hope to come back next year for revenge!