In the lead up to Varsity, most clubs double up on training, start running extra fitness classes and generally work even harder on their sport. Naturally, netball chose to spend the weekend partying in Exeter. Getting the first bus out of London, 15 girls from a mixture of all 6 teams headed into Exeter tired but excited to see what the night life is like for other universities. Despite not getting to the hotel until ten, the squad headed back out an hour later.

Conveniently our night out was only 5 minutes down the road at Unit 1. It would be a lie to say that the discovery of £4 doubles and the ability to get a drink without queuing for over half an hour wasn’t significant for a group of girls who spend their nights out in one of the most expensive cities in the world. It was also interesting to see how the local students reacted to a bunch of city girls. Our social sec Sophia managed to amass a group of locals who spent the evening cheering on her dance moves which was both confusing and amazing in equal measure. Don’t let anyone say that ICUNC dance moves are not impressive.

Our two netball matches started very early the next day, with everyone dragging themselves and their hangovers out by nine the next day ready to play some matches. The first match was played by a mixture of players from the 3rd,4th and 5th teams and they did well to adapt to playing in combinations and positions that were new to them. The girls in defence did really well to keep up with a very fast attacking side and got in some great marking practice ahead of Varsity. Siu’s performance in mid court was especially impressive considering the fact that she played in both games. The second team was composed of five 1s team players, Zoe from the 2s and our club captain Minnie. Minnie’s team mates on the 3s were especially vocal about Minnie’s performance on the court which included some great shots from the outer circle. Kath took charge of the team’s defensive strategy of the game, switching effectively with Annie and getting some great tips in. Despite playing 32 minute matches at full effort, our teams were outplayed by a more skilled and less hungover home squad. Final scores 30-7 and 43-18.

After the matches, lack of sleep and intense hunger kicked in so the whole team headed to a local restaurant to eat our weight in carbs, although Zoe’s total failure to finish off her mountain of nachos was definitely the most disappointing event of the weekend. After a restorative nap, ICUNC headed back out to meet the Exeter netball team at the local Wetherspoons to pre drink. That’s right, Exeter is so cheap you can pre drink at a bar. Exeter netball team helped to decided where to head out on a Saturday night, which for our group ended up being a club called Timepiece in the city centre. Saturday on the whole was a slightly messier night than Friday without the promise of more netball to be played the next day and the majority of the team stayed until the place closed. Special shout-out goes to fresher Olivia who crashed at Spoons at 10 before making a strong comeback at Timepiece later on in the evening. Real MVP of the trip. Also thanks go to Exeter University Netball club for playing a match on a Saturday and showing us all the best night life in the city.

There’s a lot coming up for ICUNC before the end of term this year. Firstly, the 1s team are the showcase match at Varsity this weekend at 3:30 in front of what is normally a particularly animated crowd. Then next weekend is the annual netball funday starting at 1 on 11th of Saturday. The event is a mini tournament between any group of friends who think they’re up to playing with us seasoned netballers. Mixed teams are also allowed, so boys who always say they’d be great at netball, time to put your money where your mouth is!