Lucy Palmer (c)
Marek Podgajny (c)
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