A star-studded University of TT (UTT) netball team were too strong in all departments for their opponents University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus. UTT brushed aside Open Campus 56-6, in the final of the Tertiary Sports Association of TT (TSATT) netball final held, at UWI-SPEC, St Augustine, on Tuesday night.
UTT’s starting line-up was comprised of national players : Samantha Wallace (guest), who was recently named in the top 15 players in the world and most valuable player in the just concluded season in Australia suiting up for New South Wales Swifts; current graduate student Daystar Swift, who recently obtained a contract to play professionally with Southern Steel, in New Zealand,from next year; sisters Shantel and Shernece Seemungal; and Kielle Connelly (guest), who was on the bench until the final quarter.
UTT controlled the game from the sound of the first whistle as they closed out the opening quarter (9-0). In the second segment, they added a further 19 points as opposed to two points from the opponents to complete the first half at (28-2). UTT scored 14 points in each of the remaining two quarters while, Open Campus chipped in with four points in the second half to end the match at 56-6. Special mentions to Swift and Aniecia Baptiste in the heart of defence as well as the Seemungal sisters playing the central positions.
Wallace had 35 goals from 41 attempts while her team-mate Aaliyah Modeste added 14 goals from 19 attempts and Connelly scored seven points. For Open Campus R. Ali and S. Deshong made three goals apiece.
In the bronze medal match, UWI defeated University of Southern Caribbean 19-6. UWI’s K Graham lead all scoring with 18 goals from 24 attempts.
After the match an elated UTT coach Bridget Adams said, “There were two players who made their debut on the team this year. Both freshmen in Rae-Anne Richardson and Shania Smith. The two guest players that were allowed to play (Wallace, Connelly) both came from our UTT programme over the years.” She continued, “UTT finished without a loss thereby wining the league trophy for the fifth consecutive year. Our athletes have expressed that this league provides an opportunity for tertiary players only which is the most some play at this stage with loads of enjoyment.”
Speaking on future plans for the UTT team, Adams said, “We will continue our preparations to play in the 2020 season of the All Sectors Netball League and work towards the development of our under -21 athletes for possible selection on the TT World Youth netball team and our Commonwealth Youth Team.
She concluded, “ UTT netball programme has met and surpassed its mandate of developing athletes to participate at all levels of competition, locally, regionally and internationally on national teams. I am working feverishly to have young UTT athletes represent TT once again. I remain a proud coach of the UTT team of players and those I have developed over the years, and continue to develop.”