Wasps Netball Under 21s were crowned champions of the England Netball U21 Netball Performance League (NPL) in style, after winning all seven games on their way to glory.
Wasps’ youth stars rounded off their impressive unbeaten campaign by claiming maximum points in a 62-44 victory over Surrey Storm U21s in the final round of matches held at the University of Worcester Arena.
Their league triumph gives Wasps U21s, led by Head Coach Dannii Titmuss, their second NPL title in three years after winning the inaugural competition two seasons ago in 2017.
Titmuss said: “I am so proud of the girls. We missed out on the title by coming second last year, so it was great to show our strength again and get back on top this time around.
“This year we approached things a bit differently by looking closely at the key players for each of our opponents and how to deal with them, but also putting a lot of emphasis on what to do when we have the ball.
“We have a phenomenal group of athletes here and they were able to put all of that into practice in every game.”
Wasps U21s have benefitted from the experience of Wasps Netball Superleague squad members Chloe Essam and Bethany Dix, but Titmuss highlighted the performances of some less experienced players as one of the key factors in their championship win.
She said: “Our players coming off the bench have put in some huge performances over the course of the season.
“We’ve had a lot of players moving on and progressing through the age-groups over the last year. To have this level of consistency in results, even with the migration of players, highlights the strength in our pathway and shows we’re moving in the right direction.
“We had such a different squad compared to last year, yet we still produced the performances to win each game.
“It was a massive challenge to create a winning squad with a group of new athletes and getting them to connect before the first game against Manchester Thunder - which turned out to be our toughest match.
“I was unavailable for a lot of pre-season, so the players had to really step up and take ownership, which they did fantastically. Every single one of them deserves the title of champions this season.”
Wasps Netball Franchise Manager Sarah Taylor said: “Wasps Netball is incredibly proud of the achievements of our U21 squad. To win the title in such emphatic style is a real testament to this special group of athletes and their management team.
“We are equally excited to see how the closing weekend of the U19 league plays out, before heading into the summer with all of our Wasps Netball Academy squads competing in their respective England Netball age-group tournaments.”