Mixed League Meet 1 – 13th January 2019

For you youths who were born in a different millennium and are unfamiliar with match reports, they are self-explanatory so I won’t explain them. They stopped happening because we got lazy but degrees are just privileged social constructs that are symptomatic of a crumbling late-stage capitalist system and I like procrastinating so here we are.

TEAM
Zoë Wells
Josh Keys
Lia Credé
Lucy Palmer
Mai-An Dang
Matt Manns
Mehrdad Damavandi
Marek Podgajny

*Match 1 vs London Storm 1s*
Despite Lucy spreading some dangerous Big Steve propaganda, we entered the match feeling shakily confident in our ability to avoid decimation by a Storm team made up of experienced, strong and stable players (and also Akshay Shah). Faced with some dubious (bullshit) calls, Mehrdad surprisingly kept his cool, instead channelling his anger into throwing at the 10-foot Storm players, barely throwing an invalid. Thanks to the girls making some fantastic catches and the guys also being there we were at a decent 6-6 by half time.

The second half brought about a change in tactics. Marek opted for the rarely used chemical warfare route, spreading his fluids across the court in a show of passion. In spite of his injury Marek managed to keep Big Steve in his own even Bigger Pocket, but we began to slip a little as Storm’s experience shone through. The team put in their all, applying so much effort that Lia grew a second, smaller knee on her left knee and Marek started shedding teeth. But it was all in vain, as the match ended with a score of 9-17.

*Match 2 vs Manchester Bees 2s*
After watching us hold our own in the Storm match, the Bees Bees were definitely quaking in their little buggy booties. In a classic show of good sportsmanship from our captains, we opted to give them a fair chance by not being on court at the start of the game and relying on gravity to be our ball retrievers. Thankfully there were lots of tasty little catches being made by all, fixing this initial error and bringing us up to 9-3 at half time.

The second half got to a rocky start, with the Bees nabbing a couple sets in a row. Thankfully Matt Manns received divine intervention and, like the avenging angels of Biblical times, returned to smash the Bees every time they so much as thought of taking out one of our players (Ezekiel 23:20). Making up for lost time after missing Pop earlier this week, Marek got physical with a particularly suicidal Bee in the dead zone, coming away having made a catch and several bases. The match ended with a spicy spicy score of 19-9.

Thanks to his impressive playing throughout the day, his stellar dodging across lines, his depleting health and a surprise vote from the Make A Wish Foundation, Marek is the MVP of the day.

TL;DR: Lost to Storm 9-17; Won against Bees 19-9. Marek has too few teeth and Lia has too many knees.

– Zoë Wells

Women’s League Meet 3 – 26th January 2019

Team:
Zoë Wells
Lia Credé
Jemma Loughlin
Michela Perrett
Lucy Palmer
Chiara Biquet

Ball girls: Matt Manns, Henry Spriggs

*Match 1 vs Lincoln*
Excited to start what was expected to be a challenging match, Lucy shot off the line with speed hitherto unseen from the spritely tennis player. The match then proceeded to start, with Lincoln taking five balls and subsequently the first set. Things picked up soon after as the girls remembered they each possessed at least two limbs on their upper body, using these to nab cheeky little catches here and there, tearing through the Lincoln squad almost as fast as Spriggs tore through the crotch of his trackies. A muy picante catch from La Capitana in the last two seconds of the final frame put us up to a delicious 8-4 at half time. Despite a series of dubious calls from the certainly unbiased Brummy gals, our girls held their heads high and carried on through with a 16-8 victory.

*Match 2 vs MUDs*
Manchester had brought a big buzzy bee along with them, so although the match wasn’t going to be as easy as hoped, we stormed in, epipens at the ready, and dropped the first frame immediately. Chiara opted to practice her colloquial English language skills, earning a penalty set for her petit lil fuck up. By halftime we were neck and neck at 6-6, and realised that to get that all important edge we’d have to start switching up our play. La Capitana took matters into her own hands by deciding to avoid balls by crawling off court; with Lucy responding by sacrificing her whole spine to bring her back in, a worthy trade. Watching our controlled flailing on court, MUDs began to panic and called for time out, during which Jemma called for an impromptu wet t-shirt competition. With the girls all wet and ready, we headed into the endgame, taking the final two sets and securing a very moist 13-11 victory.

MVP: for her dedication to the team, her flawless catching, and being more ripped than the muscles in her back, Lucy Palmer is the MVP of this meet.

Punishment pints: Lucy (false start); Chiara (penalty set for fucking swearing); Michela (line fault x2 – disgustang); Zoë (line fault + giving them 5 balls); Henry (retriever error)

TL;DR: catches win matches x2. Ballin’.

– Zoë Wells

Men’s 2s League Meet 3

Team:
Tom Ovenden
Henry Spriggs
Zoë Wells
Jonathan Wilkie
Matt Earl
Jack Warren

Ball boys: Josh Keys and Peter Chandler

– Match 1 vs Coventry C –
The team started strong, thanks to Zoë carbo-loading with a large dominos pizza beforehand and ball-boy Keys downing a litre of milk. We quickly managed to retain all 5 balls and proceeded to show Coventry who the superior university are and at half-time, we were yet to lose a set. The second half continued our winning streak, with the captain throwing himself to the floor in dramatic fashion for a catch. Jon decided he wanted to take on Coventry single-handedly by aggressively faking on the middle line while everyone else stood at the back of court. We conceded one set to Coventry, just to give them something to celebrate, before winning the last few sets to finish the game with a lovely 18-4 victory.

– Match 2 vs BOS B –
The second game kicked off in hilarious fashion, with Spriggs ducking out the way of a ball and turning Keys from ball-boy to ball-girl. Matt E, not wanting Keys to be alone in his pain, decided to also take a dodgeball to the crotch in the same set. But this pain motivated Matt to take revenge on BOS as he took several catches in the first half. At half time, the score was level at 6-6. The second half led to a one-of-a-kind situation, with a member of the men’s second team encountering such bad period cramps that they had to lie down in the out box until they recovered. Due to the high level of catches made in the first half, we decided it was only fair to throw directly at the opposing team’s chests and give them some easy catches in return, resulting in the final score of 16-8.

MVP: for his incredible catches and putting up with Spriggs and his car games, Matt Earl is the MVP of this league meet.

TL;DR: we beat Cov, that’s all that matters.

– Tom Ovenden

Men’s 2s League Meet 4 – 10th February 2019

Team:
Tom Ovenden (C)
Aayush Shrestha
Jonathan Wilkie
Matt Earl
Colin Tribe
Konnor Wingate
Daniel Docherty

Ballboys:
Khaled Gholmieh & Peter Chandler

Game 1 – Birmingham 3s (15-3)
As always, Cov managed to screw everything up. Due to them not turning up, the whole schedule was in shambles and everything was in chaos. Thankfully, a rough schedule was sorted out and we were up against Birmingham 3s as our first game. As it turns out, they were so scared of us and Aayush, the self-proclaimed biggest member of dodge, that they only managed a team of 5 players. In order to give them a fair game, our captain decided to give away an easy catch as one of the first throws of the game, only to be caught back in by Dan, eager to make an impact in his first game. Turns out that was only the beginning for Dan, who went on to make multiple catches throughout the first half, leading to a decent 7-1 lead at halfway. Onto the second half, where the power couple of Matt and Dan, forged in the fires of the charity tournament, managed to win a set from a losing position, and our captain managed a hit from a two-handed throw, bringing about a 15-3 victory at full time.

Game 2 – Birmingham 3s (26-4)
Feeling comfortable after our first victory, ballboy Khaled reasoned that he didn’t need to ball retrieve as “it’s only Birmingham 3s”, nevertheless he managed to pull through. During the first half, a pattern emerged in which Colin, upon receiving the middle ball at the beginning of each set, would pin Birmingham’s main caller right on the toes. Into the second half, Jon decided to go solo and take out 4 out of 5 players within 30 seconds, with two catches and two hits. Ballboy Pete, realising Birmingham were at a disadvantage, decided to join in and throw balls at Jon from off court, which consequently bounced straight back to Birmingham. Wanting to beat our previous score from Birmingham, we pushed hard and managed a lovely win of 26-4.

Game 3 – Leicester 2s (13-11)
At this point, we were down to one referee as the other managed to dislocate her finger and went off to A&E, meaning that we had BOS 2 as our referees. Leicester was going to be a tough game, as they were one place above us in the table. But we were feeling good after two victories and were ready for them, despite Leicester having a full team and 4 subs (bit overkill if you ask me). Getting into the first set, the teams were evenly matched from the beginning. Even with Matt walking off court for an invalid that no one saw (good honesty, but unnecessary), we were drawing 6-6 at half time. In the second half, Matt and Dan repeated their earlier victory of winning a set from a losing position, and Jon managed to throw an invalid by accidentally dropping a ball only to have it roll over the middle line. After Leicester called a panicked time-out, the score was level at 11-11, with a very tense 60 second set to go. Both teams played very aggressively but unfortunately, the set was lost 5-4, and Leicester took the 13-11 victory.

MVP – For losing his league meet virginity with quick bursts of speed and ball catching skills, Dan Docherty is this week’s MVP.

Punishment Pints – Colin, Konnor, Jon and Matt all threw invalids, although no line pints needed from this league meet.

TL;DR – two victories against Brum (yay), a very close loss to Leicester (boo)

– Tom Ovenden

Women’s League Meet 5 – 2nd March 2019

Team:
Zoë Wells (c)
Lia Credé
Lucy Palmer
Lucy Bannister Curran
Mai-An Dang
Michela Perrett
Chiara Biquet
Heuiji Sun

*Match 1 vs Birmingham 2s*
Keys, anxious to redeem his ball boy reputation and secure himself a spot on the prestigious women’s 2nd squad, made some tasty little catches at the back line. This ball retention proved crucial to our girls, who used it to make a delicious play ball error, leading experts to speculate as to whether our physical disabilities had at last migrated to our ears. Half time was punctuated by a debate as to whether a final set should be either a minute long or a blatantly incorrect 30 seconds. Thankfully this was correctly settled and we nabbed a win from Birmingham’s cloven hooves in the last 10 seconds, making the score 4-8 at half time.

Michela went on to ping a Brummie gal in the toe with a filthy little single in the second half. The Bham captain responded to this by launching herself at the ball with the energy of an Apollo flight but an outcome more like the Challenger, catching the ball but landing square in the outbox. Despite these best efforts, we ended with a perfectly mirrored second half, making the score 8-16 at full time.

*Match 2 vs Balls of Steel 2s*
Ballgirl and cheerleader Josh Keys summarises this match as “just a lotta dickin’”, which is notably trickier for a women’s match. Still, our girls handled their balls fantastically, maintaining solid retention and playing incredibly quick frames throughout, including an impressive 57 second set. The match ended with a score of 28-0; our thoughts and prayers are with the BoS girls after this truly devastating attack.

*Match 3 vs Birmingham 1s*
Chiara’s start to this match can be summarised by a classic, centuries old saying from France: “elle a taken-a-massive-shit sur les filles de Birmingham”, which roughly translates to “she made two catches within the space of 5 seconds without even blinking”. Michela blocked a single straight into Mai-An as part of her MVP campaign – we eagerly await Birmingham’s match report to see if she made it. Despite this, the score was 4-8 at half time, earning us some respecting nods from the Bham 2s ball retrievers.

Never one to change tactics, we successfully pulled off the tricky Play Ball Error a second time. The running theory is that we are simply incapable of hearing play ball over the sheer size of Birmingham’s egos. Still, the match ended with another 8-16 loss, rounding out a tricky day for our girls, who put in their all against some incredibly solid teams and also Balls of Steel.

MVP: for their incredible ability to always look active and alert on court, as well as their usual spicy catches and umami counters, Mai-An and Chiara are our joint MVPs for the meet.

Pints: Michela Perrett (line fault); Lucy Palmer (retriever error); Ellie Ford (retriever error)

TL;DR: lost to Bham 1s and 2s, destroyed BoS 2s.

– Zoë Wells

Women’s League Meet 6 – 23rd March 2019

Team:
Zoë Wells (c)
Lia Credé
Lucy Palmer
Lucy Bannister Curran
Jemma Loughlin
Mai-An Dang
Michela Perrett
Ruth Slaney

Ball boys: Henry Spriggs and Tom Ovenden

– Pre-game
Loosey BC started her jug day strong with a pitcher of porn star martini at 12:15, greeted raucously at the table with cheers and lots of confused looks from the captain and vice-captain who had been told she couldn’t play as she was “heading home” before the league meet. After approximately 2 seconds of peer pressure, she decided she could play after all, and finished her pitcher before heading out at 12:30.

Car 1, driven by our emotional support retriever Tom O, featured an ever-reddening Lucie BC treating us to such wonders as MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” – or rather MC Bannister’s #metoo era friendly bop, “Don’t Touch Me” – and a list of increasingly abstract spellings of vice-captain Lea Credé’s name (see below for full rankings). The development car, driven by Lucy Palmer, demonstrated a unique ability to hone onto toll roads, despite the GPS “definitely being set to no-toll roads” according to toll road retriever Henry Spriggs, leading to it arriving a full 30 minutes late, or at the same time as Car 1.

– Warwick 1s/Mai-An vs Birmingham 3s
With minimal warmup time, we launched ourselves straight into the match, racking up some solid sets early on in the game. Mai-An made a fantastic combo, pre-throwing one thrower out before going on to catch the remaining lonely single faster than you can say right swipe. Sadly things then took a bit of a turn for the worse, with Lia astral projecting straight into a ball and us dropping a set, leaving us with a still very solid 8-2 score at half time. Lousey BC, anxious to make up for lost time, downed a pre-emptive hangover coffee in the outbox and confidently told the capitana that, despite her face matching her shirt, she was not tipsy.

Setting an early theme for the day, Mai-An started the second half with a block straight into Ruth. However, thanks to a superpowered healed hand, Ruth caught the ball in the nick of time, with our girls going on to secure the frame and Mai-An redeeming herself by catching the last ball. Not content enough to just leave it at that, Mai-An then completed her massive shit on Birmingham by catching the first ball of the next frame off her shoulder without even so much as a glance, to many cheers from the wounded captain and mutilated future captain. Lia equalised a set in the last 5 seconds with a ping the likes pongs can only dream of. Knowing full well that we were soon going to have our work cut out for us against the BoS girls, Mai-An tactically opted to get a headstart on that game, nailing a hit off one of their girls in the stalls in the final frame of the match.

A fantastically played game, with a 20-6 final score.

– Warwick United vs BoS 1s
Warwick 1s vs BoS 1s
Luschie BC, shaking off the last of the alcohol driven haze of the single jug from earlier in the morning, was at last ready to step up and defeat our fabled opponents once and for all. Moving with the confidence only a latent alcoholic could have, she swiftly fished for the first ball that flew her way and was hit out instantly. Jemma took two catches in a row, radiating confidence and subsequently teeth, after an unfortunate face hit. The first half ended with us up by 8-4.
The second half got off to a bit of a trickier start, with Jemma insisting that the girls shout “hawt dawg” instead of Warwick, earning her and the entire squad an automatic demotion to the second string squad.

Warwick 2s vs BoS 1s
Quickly down to our last woman, Lia Crede faced off against 4 BoS girls, nabbing a catch and using that ball to take out a single, only then having her rampage ended. Lucy Palmer, anxious to one-up Mai-An, blocked a ball into both Lia and Michela at the start of a frame, succeeding in securing the only double hit of the day and also the BoS MVP title. BoS called for a time-out, which ended with yet more hawt dawging from the girls. The girls lost their right to call themselves 2s players, and the captain lost her will to live.

Warwick 3s vs BoS 1s
Lucy P quickly redeemed herself by taking a fantastic catch in the next frame, before being coached by the captain, vice captain, sub, ball retrievers, and potentially members of BoS themselves to just stay on the floor, suffering from the largest pain in the arse since Mehrdad came back. Despite all this, BoS were pulling out all the stops and had managed to nearly equalise, with a 10-12 score before the final set. The captain at last found her will to live again, called half time, and the girls, now anxious to make sure that the steely balls didn’t smash us any more, stuck to protocol.

Warwick 1s vs BoS 1s
Sadly, maybe dawgs were the missing ingredient after all. We didn’t quite manage to hold that all important final frame, with those slippery Balls just sliding out of our grasp. Final score of 12-12, a fantastic effort made by all.

MVP: For some incredible catches, fantastic counters, and some okay-maybe-we-should -work-on-that blocking, Lucy Palmer is our MVP for the day.

Pints: Lucy Palmer blocking into Michela and Lia.

– Llusahie Bannister-Curran’s attempts at spelling Lia’s name, ranked in reverse order:
8. Leah
7. Lea
6. Leia
5. Laeh: like Leah, but for dyslexic people
4. Leeah: like Leah, but for drunk people
3. LheA: like Leah, but for drunk dyslexic people who accidentally hit caps lock
2. Leigha
1. Leahah: a lesser known move in Yeehah, wherein the player points their fist at Lia and she immediately downs her drink

TL;DR: beat Birmingham 3s, drew with BoS 1s, had a solid Jug Day.

– Zoë Wells

Women’s Final League Meet – 6th April 2019

Team:
Zoë Wells (c)
Lia Credé
Lucy Palmer
Mai-An Dang
Jemma Loughlin
Keziah Dean
EA Kersley

Ball boys: Henry Spriggs and Tom Ovenden
Wet boy/Birmingham 2 Ball Boy: Marek Podgajny
Also there for a bit: Josh Keys

The day got off to a classic women’s league start, with all four universities that had bothered to show up listening to Gareth’s trademark combination of breath-taking optimism and endless brevity, as he carefully explained that line refs are overrated anyway so we wouldn’t have them on our court.

Warwick vs Lincoln
We got off to an uncharacteristically fantastic start against Lincoln, with Jemma pulling off her famous tactic of only making one catch per meet with a really fucking good one that helped secure a two-set lead early on. Lincoln soon got a bit of perspective and realised we weren’t all eight feet tall, lowered their throws and started getting some hits. After dropping a set we then found ourselves down to a 4 on 2. Sadly for Lincoln, those two were Mai-An “I can jump higher than Jemma is tall” Dang and Leehah “I don’t even have to block anymore, the balls just run away in fear” Crede, who easily turned the set around with a catch and a series of scrumptious little pings. Thanks to this strong effort, we were up by 8-2 at half time.

The second half continued in the same vein, with Lia sniping players left right and centre. Lincoln began to think more tactically, targeting our weaknesses and slamming Lucy right in the tonsillitis. After briefly considering puking on court, she decided that none of the Lincoln lot were worthy of her ample fluids and kept it down. From her prime position on her knees, Lucy continued to take those balls time and time again, with, by her estimation, a total of 7 balls grabbed, a worrying medical anomaly and an impressive scoresheet. In order to add some dramatic tension to our final game, we decided to drop the next three sets, leading to a minute set with the score at 12-10. We then thoroughly dashed any Lincoln dreams by securing the totally-not-nervous final game, set, match, league, with a 14-10 victory.
We were now relying on a Birmingham loss to Lincoln to achieve a podium win. Having crushed their spirits almost as hard as Zoe crushed her somehow-still-broken finger 12 fucking weeks ago, we watched as Lincoln lost a hard-fought match against the 5 antisocial Brummie girls who hadn’t gone on tour. This meant we ended the league at a still very impressive 4th place, miles ahead from where we ended last year. Onwards and upwards.

Everyone vs Everyone 2s
As Gareth trudged off home, grumbling about eradicating MUDs from the league and taking all the match balls with him, everyone else hung around for a classic game of last (wo)man. Our girls stood strong in the first match, with Keziah standing so strong that a ball bounced clean off her and took out Lucy Palmer. Emma managed to make it to the last five people, the sole Warwick girl standing, through the trademark dodge-fresh tactic of trying to blend into the wall. La Capitana managed to take out a Birmingham girl with her leg. Proving that the patriarchy is alive and well, both games were won by men, including our very own Josh Keys who thanks to this impressive performance is offered a place on the prestigious women’s 2nd team – famously the best team in the club, having never lost a game.

Thank you to all the wonderful girls who gave up their time and came to league at some point this year. We’ve improved so much over the last two years and I can’t wait to see how far you all come next year. Congratulations to everyone, we couldn’t have done it without you.

MVP: For her ridiculous singles and pings, her ruthless blocking, and for always going the extra (insert how many miles from St Albans to Leamington) miles, Lia Credé is our MVP of the meet.

Additionally! I have tallied up all the votes from all the women’s league meets to find the MestVestPest player. For consistently sacrificing her time, energy, and health, despite it definitely not being in her long-term interest, Lucy Palmer is our Pest for the Women’s League 2018-19.

For the first time in league, I have no punishment pints to write out. Everyone do a victory pint in celebration of finishing league; please send photographic evidence if you are not at the pub tonight.

TL;DR: Won against Lincoln, came 4th overall. Whack a pint

– Zoë Wells

Mixed League Round 6 – 26th May 2019

Team:
Zoë Wells (c)
Lucy Palmer (c)
Marek Podgajny (c)
Henry Spriggs
Daniel Brown
Matt Manns

Apologies for the brief hiatus on match reports, apparently they don’t accept the form for writing assignments yet so I had to write “actual work” for my “degree”. Anyway, now that that bullshit’s done, I can get back to what really matters in life: talking about warm halls and sweaty, sweaty balls.

– Warwick vs. Bedford Rangers
A hotly anticipated match between the league seconds and the league second-from-bottoms, we entered this game with great expectations. Further improving our chances was the fact that we started each frame with only 5 players on court, having opted to represent gender discrimination in the world by making our women work twice as hard for the same recognition, and also apparently people still have exams. Still, the half started off well with a couple fantastic sets clinched nice and early. Spriggs worked on his try-out routine for Warwick Sub-Aqua, diving full bodily into the very solid ground but still coming out of it with an equally solid catch. Having initially lost their ankles to some tasty throws from Matt and Marek, the Rangers soon remembered their footing and started to pull it back a little, leading Dan and myself to test out the #wastehistime2019 routine, carefully sidestepping everything they threw our way while still letting them think they stood a chance. With this we ended the first half only a set behind, at 6-8, eager to get back out there and fulfil our dodgeball underdog story.

However, the match then shifted into an unfortunately more familiar and more expected gear. Players we’ve grown to love became tired, tactics stopped making sense, and the captains collectively forgot about the iron fleet (read: fucking prethrows). I’ve already omitted those last 15 minutes from my memory so can’t tell you exactly how, but we ended with a still quite decent score of 6-20 at full time, not something to be entirely sniffed at, and with our moist players definitely not something to be sniffed at either.

– Warwick vs Derby Phantoms
Despite our comparative lack of players, we genuinely entered this match feeling a lot more hopeful and having learnt a lot from our burn out against Rangers. Matt leant into his dormant podophilia and fucked ankles left and right, equalising every frame in the first five seconds with the help of Dan’s speedy balls and perfect flicks. Over on the left side of court, Henry and Marek prepared for the summer by lathering the court in their fluids and creating a makeshift slip and slide, which we can only assume helped Marek with his running counters and Henry with his photogenic line faults. With some fantastically timed catches from La Capitana (Cool Original) and La Capitana (Chilli Heatwave), we ended the first half up a frame with a lovely score of 9-7.

Aware that it is Warwick tradition to fumble the second half of a game and having been reminded of this fact by number 1 Wazza fanboy Gareth during the break between, we entered the second half wary of the tough battle that still lay ahead. By managing to garner more pings than our players ponged, we held the line solidly from the start of the half and were really forcing Phantoms to give it everything they had, except that one Phantoms guy who probably played about 10 seconds total thanks to Matt refusing to let him play. Marek unfortunately suffered some kind of mild stroke partway through and lost feeling in his left arm, which led to many accusations of cheating from the other side, though the jury is still out on whether these are well founded. Regardless, our five honourable players and one filthy cheat stormed ahead to a fantastically well-deserved victory, with a final score of 15-9.

MVP: This was the most divided vote we’ve had on my count, and that just speaks volumes about the insane quality of play on the day. I know I usually joke around in this bit, but literally everyone played some of the best dodgeball I’ve seen them play, the teamwork was top notch, and I’m honestly so proud and astounded of everyone’s standard of play on the day. However, special mention does have to go out to an especially sweaty boy: for equalising the frames and making our player deficit barely noticeable, Matt Manns is our MVP of the meet.

Punishment pints: Henry Spriggs (line fault)

TL;DR: lost 6-20 against Rangers, won 15-9 against Phantoms. Average temperature of the hall: 56C. I just forced at least one person to find out the technical term for a foot fetish. Very well played by our little team.

– Zoë Wells

Mixed League Finals Day – 2nd June 2019

Zoë Wells (c u later)
Lucy Palmer (c)
Marek Podgajny (c)
Henry Spriggs
Daniel Brown
Jonathan Wilkie
Mehrdad Damavandi (RIP)

– Warwick vs Leeds
After fighting tooth and claw the previous league meet, we successfully managed to not at all shift our league position in the slightest, ending our division second to last, above the mighty Bees Bees. This meant we were matched up with the parallel league’s Leeds Owls, a team made up of some solid players and only 2 women too, so at least it was a fair match up. The first half got off to a solid start, as our entire catching side collectively forgot how hands work for the first three frames, instead choosing to stare at the balls and will them into submission. After calling time out and taking a short anatomy lesson, we started scraping back the sets, nabbing sneaky little catches everywhere and obliterating feet faster than you can say “anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament”. Thanks to this effort, we managed to get the score back to a slightly more acceptable 4-8 at half time.

The second half got off to a much better start. Mama Capitana made two muy picante catches in quick succession, flipping the frame around and then securing the win with a final ping off their last player’s ankle. Having successfully made myself a target, I was then prethrown and hit, but converted it into a catch and out with a Superman-dive-but-like-the-Henry-Caville-Superman-where-they-CGI’d-his-moustache-so-he-looks-like-an-absolute-twat suicide across the centre line. Not content to let the men sneak in any notable moments in the match report, Niña Capitana then soared forward, managing to turn around another frame from a 1 v 3 into a win, thanks to two catches and a running counter with honorary women’s second team player Henry Spriggs against the final player. Lacking any female subs though, our female side soon began to drop in energy levels, and our team as a whole started to drop frames, leading to a final loss of 10-14 after a very hard fought match.

– Warwick vs Bees Bees Bees Bees
Our second match-up of the day was against our historic foes, the Bees 2s, the only team that we actually managed to beat in our own league. Unfortunately, today the Bees had brought along an impressive team, and we had brought along 5 men, so the odds were against us from the beginning. Despite this, the first half started off hopeful. Lucy managed to solidify a frame by catching a ball straight in the period cramps, activating her camouflage by rendering her so pale she blended into the walls. After losing three frames in a row to Bees, we called a time out to collect our thoughts. The Minotaur ref nodded and did the T hand gesture. However, the individual in question was still recovering from his previous match, in which he was heckled by a 60-year old woman and promptly ran to the bathroom to TC (reports differ as to whether these events are related), and so the shortest timeout ever came to an abrupt end after no other refs were made aware that a timeout was called. We lost our footing a little thanks to this gaff and dropped the next two frames until, thankfully, the half came to an end, with a score of 12-6.

We entered the second half refreshed, having thankfully had a bit of a break this time round. Marek caught Ellie out, though the ref called it as a bounce. Famously, sound travels slower on the far end of court, so it was a full 40 seconds until Manchester heard the ref’s call, forcing Ellie “Turncoat” Ford, already halfway through changing into her Warwick jersey for next year, to step back on court after we’d already eliminated the rest of the team and were cracking open the bubbly (read: sweating champagne flutes), though thankfully we still secured the frame. The Bees managed to turn a frame on us, leaving “just” Lucy behind on her own against 5 players. Lucy “I Only Know One Tactic and it’s Absolute Annihilation” Palmer proceeded to yet again make two catches, with her two male teammates promptly being knocked right back into the out box within seconds of stepping on court, sadly leading to us losing the frame. Jon, in his first outing in the mixed squad, forgetting momentarily that we were playing dodgeball and not pinball, started the next frame by bouncing 3 players out with one ball and brought our winning streak back into play. Things came down to a final minute set in the end, which, due to British Dodgeball not letting us play Dan Brown wearing a wig, we entered with a team of 5 against their team of 6. A frantic sixty seconds sadly led to us barely losing, just clear of the end line. Final score of 16-14.

This league marks the final meet of the 2018-19 dodgeball season, and, for a handful of us, the final time we’ll play at a university level and don the red (or, that specific shade of red at least). We went in taking inspiration for this Grand Finale from some of the greatest film and TV endings of all time: the last three episodes of GoT; the entirety of the final season of How I Met Your Mother; that bit at the end of Grease where they fuck off in a flying car while everybody chants nonsense words like some kind of cult. It was always going to be a tough league, but we put in a damn good fight, and things can only go up from here.

For singlehandedly bringing the team back from the brink more times than we can count (twice, but I do humanities so I can’t count), her impressive cross court pings, and for always playing her absolute best dodgeball when she looks like she’s about three second away from keeling over (throwback to the tonsillitis match report), Lucy Palmer gets our MVP for this meet.

Because this is the last match of the league, I also want to announce the Mest Vest Pest for the Mixed League, for the player who has accrued the most MVP votes across the year. In true Pest fashion, this goes to a player who has played at nearly every meet, and whose constant presence on court is elicits comfort in our players, terror in our opponents, and large amounts of sweat from his own body. Our mixed Mest Vest Pest goes to Oh President My President, Mr Matthew “Manns” Mannhews himself.

Thanks to all of you who read these for bearing with my match reports throughout this year. It’s truly been a blessing being your women’s, mixed, and only literate captain these last two years, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Muchos gracias, and see all of you (not you Lia) at Sports Ball.

TL;DR: we lost both matches but put up a good fight. Lucy is MVP, Matt is overall MVP. I’m going to cry so much during Week 10 Pop.

Pints: Marek (ball retriever error); Zoë and Mehrdad (retirement home)

– Zoë Wells

English Open – Warwick Warriors II

Line-up:

Nathan Thompson (C)
Matt Manns
Khaled Gholmieh
Michael Ash Javaid
Ollie Richards
Thomas Lake
Tom Lawson
Sam Pounds (his mum)

Preamble:

With the 2’s suffering from a number of injuries collected over the previous few weeks and months, our chances were not looking particularly good heading into one of the largest and toughest tournaments of the year. Nonetheless, following our incredible luck with the main draw, which put us into a group with Portsmouth 3s, London Storm 2s and Birmingham 3s, things were looking up for us. That is, until 2am Sunday morning, when Michael dropped out due to illness. An exact cause is unconfirmed at this point, but anonymous sources mentioned the previous night’s Chemistry Ball as a potential factor… This led to Sam Pounds’ last minute call up, a decision that was slightly regretted by team captain Nathan when Sam turned up late to the church on Sunday morning having only got about 2 hours sleep the night before…

THE GROUPS

Game 1 – Portsmouth Purple Cobras 3s

It’s an unwritten rule that any Dodgeball team that insists on wearing those silly vests rather than proper kit deserves to be beaten, and that’s exactly what happened. Playing together as a full team for the first time ever, our boys combined well coordinated throwing with some timely catches to secure a comfortable, convincing win over a seriously fashion challenged Pompey side. We were off to a good start!
Final score: Warwick 6-4 Pompey.

Game 2 – London Storm 2s

We anticipated this to be by far our toughest match, but having just seen Storm get hammered by Birmingham 8-2, we felt we might actually have a decent shot at winning this game and showing our ex president Oli Hague just what he was missing. Alas, it was not to be. Storm really stepped up their game for this match and, despite our best efforts, we were just about beaten.
Final score: London Storm 8-2 Warwick.

Game 3 – Birmingham 3s

In order to ensure a higher place group finish than Portsmouth, the 2s really needed to pull off something special and take some points off of a surprisingly strong Birmingham side, which is just what we did. Tactical throwing and efficient trapping meant that we were able to hold our own, despite injuries taking their toll on certain members of the team. All team members played well, but Matt was the clear ‘Mann of the match’ (sorry, couldn’t resist), as he executed a number of fantastic counters and made some great catches under pressure as well (I hear unconfirmed reports that Mehrdad’s place in the 1s is now under review after this standout performance).
Final score: Birmingham 7-3 Warwick.

Plate last 16:

After a decent 3rd place finish in our group, the 2s were drawn against DeMontfort’s second team in the last 16 of the plate tournament. Having tried and failed to locate an AWOL Sam Pounds, we headed onto the court for what we knew would be a very winnable match. Perhaps overconfident, our boys made several mistakes in the first game which led to a 1v1 with a minute left, and it did not look good. However, our salvation came from an unlikely source – DeMontfort’s final player left in not only decided to roll one of his balls towards a rather bemused Matt Manns, but was then visibly confused as to why everyone started laughing at him. Buoyed by this amateurish display, the 2s gathered themselves, got organised, and convincingly won the next 3 games, with team captain Nathan, finally freed from his ‘no throwing under any circumstances ever’ ban, taking particular advantage of the opposing teams’ chronic inability to catch anything and helping to ensure a swift end to the match.
Final Score: Warwick 6-0 DeMontfort.

Plate Quarter Finals:

Having been drawn against Birmingham 2s in the quarter finals, we knew that this was going to be by far the toughest match of the day – we were getting tired, injuries were really taking their toll and Sam Pounds was still nowhere to be seen. We played well, particularly when we needed catches to stay in the game, but in the end Birmingham just about triumphed. Honourable mention to Tom Lake for being commended by a number of Birmingham players for sportsmanlike conduct (it’s not the same as a win, but we’ll take it). Final result: Birmingham 6-0 Warwick

Final remarks:

Given the choice between hanging around to watch the final few matches, or grabbing some victory/consolation chicken on the way home, our heroes opted for the latter. We headed out of the sports hall, pausing only to confirm that it was indeed Sam Pounds who was fast asleep in the far corner of the foyer, as he had apparently been for the past 3 hours (mystery solved), and made our way home. It was good day overall for the 2s, as we managed to win two of our matches over the course of the tournament (I could point out that our first team only won one of theirs, but I’m a gentleman, so I won’t). Promising performances from both new and old players, and the fact that our team chemistry only improved throughout the day, sets us up well for when the leagues start in just a few weeks.

Fin.

-Nathan Thompson