Photo credit: RMIT SPORT
A spirited RMIT Women’s Redbacks outfit was defeated 84-27 by a dominant Victoria University at The Web (RMIT Sport Centre) in the opening match of the University Basketball League season.
The RMIT Redbacks led by captain Steph Fell and coached by Debbie Caulsan, is stepping into the great unknown as it is their first time competing in the UBL competition. Understandably, there may be some bumps along the road as the competition progresses. Whatever is promised, however is the fact that these young girls will evidently fight vigorously every match for that desired “W” , all the while competing to the best of their abilities. This ‘never say die’ attitude was evident as the Redbacks clawed back a Victoria University side who had burst out of the gates to lead by 10 points only minutes into the game to then restrict their lead to 2 near the end of the first quarter. This was the closest the Redbacks would get to having their noses in front during the rigorous game as a clinical Victorian University side spurred on by captain Grace Watson would finish up the half 48-to-14-point leaders.
The substantial Vic Uni lead can be directly linked to the dominant performance both in and out of the paint by centre Eleanor Bollands who would finish the first half with 15 points (5/7 from the field and 1/1 from 3 points). Opposing centre Ruth Burrows tried her best to steady the ship for the Redbacks but ultimately was playing a lone hand and finished the half with 7 points (2/8 from the field and ⅓ from the free throw line). Despite the rocky start, the Redbacks truly did try their hardest throughout it and forced the visitors on multiple occasions to make some unnecessary fouls brought on out of frustration.
Unfortunately for the Redbacks, the second half mirrored the first with Vic Uni consistently finding open lanes to the bucket through some very solid screen setting.
A rare highlight from what was a tough quarter for the Redbacks, was a magnificent chase down block by RMIT's workhorse Aiyana Ananiev.
The last quarter would follow much of the same formula the previous three had followed, with RMIT trying hard but Vic Uni simply being too strong and skilled for them. The game also left the home side with some injury concerns heading into next week with Marnie Jarvis ruled out of the rest of the game at the start of the 3rd Quarter due to an ankle injury.
The Redbacks ultimately were defeated by 57 points and will look to rebound with a stronger performance in their next match which is against Federation University out at Casey Stadium.
Full Time Score: RMIT 27 vs Victoria University 84