Tag: molly jovic

2020 SSN: Season preview – Collingwood Magpies

AFTER an extended break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season is set to commence on August 1. Draft Central takes a look at each team, with Collingwood Magpies up next on the list. 

Coach: Rob Wright
Captain: Geva Mentor and Madi Browne
2019 finish: 4th

The Magpies had a strange 2019 season, racking up seven wins and two draws. The side found plenty of purchase through the middle of the season and had a stellar patch to finish, making the finals thanks to a magnificent win against the Vixens in the last round, before then falling to the Vixens in the first round of finals. Overall, the Magpies were a force to be reckoned with thanks to their ability to pull out unsuspecting wins but also lost a couple of matches with a lack of consistency and connection down the court and a couple of major injuries putting their season in doubt. With Madi Browne ruled out prior to the season beginning and Kelsey Browne bookending with the same injury towards the end of the season, the side was interrupted but their good patches were better than most and proved that they could make just about any combination work if they were on. Shimona Nelson impressed upon her move to Melbourne, while Nat Medhurst was a crucial cog in attack, playing almost a dual role in and around the goal circle thanks to her wealth of experience to hold up the circle at times.

2020 predictions/expectations:

Collingwood have an entirely new-look team in 2020, with three crucial players in Medhurst, April Brandley and Kim Ravaillion ruled out with pregnancy and midcourt star Ash Brazill out with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury acquired in February. But while the side has lost a wealth of experience, they have brought in some quality talent to replace them with Jamaican Jodi-Ann Ward joining the defensive fray to bolster ranks with Geva Mentor and Matilda Garrett, while Gabby Sinclair and Mel Bragg return to the team for a second season, with Bragg elevated to be a permanent player in 2020. Molly Jovic and Julia Woolley also join the fray for the first time, with the duo both snatched up to provide another option in attack and Woolley an interesting selection to join the goal circle given her lack of experience in the elite pathways. The team will need to ensure its connections are on point if they are to challenge some of the top teams in 2020, especially given the new two goal Super Shot with some inexperienced players in the midst.

Key player to watch:

Nelson had a breakout season last year, increasing her volume and accuracy across the season and will have to do the same in 2020 given the loss of Medhurst in attack. While Medhurst did a wealth of work to get the ball to Nelson in 2019, plying her trade and helping the young goaler develop her craft, Nelson will be the go-to girl this season  but could really lack that backup goaler stepping up that she relied on to generate ball, meaning the Magpies could be in a lot of trouble if she cannot get easy access to the ball under the post. With an impressive aerial ability and accuracy, plus her ability to put pressure on the scoreboard and she will be a real player to watch this season. Her development was second to none last season but will need to step up once again this year as the experienced player at the post, and will want to continue her development to ensure she brings her strong hands from the get-go to be a consistent threat at the post.

Team list:

Madi Browne
Kelsey Browne
Geva Mentor
Gabby Sinclair
Matilda Garrett
Mel Bragg
Jodi-Ann Ward
Shimona Nelson
Julia Woolley
Molly Jovic
Kelly Altmann

Collingwood and Lightning set to face off in practice match

COLLINGWOOD Magpies and the Sunshine Coast Lightning are set to face off in Hobart on Friday night, with both sides preparing for yet another big year of Suncorp Super Netball. It will be the Magpies’ first outing in 2020 since winning the Super Club tournament over in New Zealand, while the Sunshine Coast will be hoping to get on the winners list after going down to the Fever last week in a practice match.

The Magpies will be missing the defensive prowess of Ash Brazill with the dual code athlete unable to make the trip due to her AFL Women’s commitments on Friday night, instead allowing the likes of Sharni Lambden to step up to the plate. It will be a great opportunity for the side to try out new combinations with a 10-player squad filled with new players set to make the trip down south. Replacement player for Nat Medhurst, Victorian Netball League (VNL) premiership star Julia Woolley, will be hoping to make an immediate impact on the court with her strong drives and ability to go to post. Woolley will be a real surprise packet for the Lightning given she has not played at Australian Netball League (ANL) or Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) level before. The clash will provide an opportunity through the midcourt for the likes of Kelsie Rainbow and Molly Jovic to formulate strong connections with the likes of Shimona Nelson with the duo looking to use their dash and clean hands to exploit the Lightning’s weaknesses. Having already played with the Magpies, Mel Bragg will be aiming to impose herself with her defensive style while recruit Jodi-Ann Ward will be hoping to use her long arms to force turnovers. Despite playing in the Bushfire Relief game for the All-Stars, co-captain Geva Mentor will pull on the goal keeper bib for the Pies. Renowned for her quick feet and ability to cause confusion in the circle Mentor will need to be on her A-game and lead from the front being the most experienced player in the Collingwood line-up.

With a loss fresh in their mind, the Lightning will be hoping to rectify their issues and claim an early win over the Magpies. They have a plethora of options in the goal circle with Cara Koenen and Peace Proscovia proving to be a damaging duo. In the absence of Steph Wood, Koenen has found herself out of position in goal attack but has not looked uncomfortable using her silky movement and strong drives to full effect. Ugandan shooter, Proscovia is strong under the ring with her accuracy to post and strong holds the key aspects of her game play. Jacqui Russell even showed her hand in goals floating through goal attack highlighting her versatility. With the Bushfire Relief game on Sunday, both Laura Langman and Karla Pretorius may have limited minutes on the court but will be hoping to have an impact with their ball-winning ability. Langman will be hoping to exploit Collingwood’s young and inexperienced midcourt with her gut running, speed and impressive ball placement across the court, while Pretorius is no slouch given her dynamic movement and go-go gadget arms. In her second SSN season, Phumza Maweni will be hoping to build on her form and cement her connections with young up and coming players in the side despite it not changing a whole heap over the off season. Speedster, Laura Scherian will be looking to take the reins in wing attack once again with up the other end expect the combination of Ash Unie and Maddy McAuliffe to be trialled.

It will be a tight battle between both sides but given the Lightning have a relatively unchanged side from last year and are filled with experience expect them to get over the top of Collingwood.

Victorian Netball League Awards

WITH the Victorian Netball League (VNL) season officially over there were plenty of award winners across all three divisions, along with a Team of the Year announced for the 19 and Under, Division One and Championship leagues.

19 and Under

Jasmine Mackie claimed the 19 and Under Hot Shot award for her efforts throughout the season. Mackie left her mark on the competition with her scoring ability on full display for the Peninsula Waves while Ellen Doyle took home the MVP for the same age group. Doyle was instrumental in the Geelong Cougars line-up with her accuracy to post and slick movement in the circle while her versatility across the court also impressed. She switched between defence and attack seamlessly, bringing down errant passes and propelling the ball back down the court. both Doyle and Mackie made their way into the Team of the Year credit to their impressive form and skill across the court.

19&U Team of the Year:

Ellen Doyle-Geelong Cougars
Jasmine Mackie- Peninsula Waves
Georgia Moody- Southern Saints
Daisy O’Kane-City West Falcons

Emma Allman- Boroondara Express
Keara Fitzgerald- North East Blaze
Sienna Kelly- Peninsula Waves
Emma Walters- City West Falcons

Ashlee Barnett- Peninsula Waves
Anna Donnelly- Southern Saints
Melissa Oloamanu- City West Falcons
Sophie Shoebridge- Geelong Cougars

Division 1

After a dominant first season in the VNL, Abigail Gedge claimed the Division One Hot Shot Award. She finished the season with a whopping 564 goals at 88 per cent and was a lynchpin in North-East Blaze’s attack end, holding strong and backing herself to post. Boroondara Express midcourter Maddy Wallmeyer won the MVP award for her impressive skill and dynamic movement across the court. She proved to be an integral player for Express throughout their finals campaign with her ability to hit the circle edge with pace and precision while delivering pinpoint passes into the goalers. They were among 12 players named in the Division One Team of the Year.

Division One Team of the Year:

Ruby Barkmeyer- Boroondara Express
Georgie Cuthbertson- Geelong Cougars
Abigail Gedge- North East Blaze
Daisy Hill- Hawks Netball

Samantha Coppinger- North East Blaze
Jasmine Ferguson- Hawks Netball
Georgia Finn- Geelong Cougars
Maddy Wallmeyer- Boroondara Express

Laura Giles- Geelong Cougars
Nakita Singe- North East Blaze
Tegan Stephenson- Boroondara Express
Ruby Tidd- North East Blaze


Libby Nicol notched up her third consecutive Hot Shot award, steering the ship for North East Blaze with her ability to control the tempo of the game in the attacking third. She was the key for Blaze in attack with her dynamic movement, strength, volume and sheer accuracy backing herself time and time again. She finished with a staggering 835 goals at 90 per cent highlighting her skill and rhythm in the goal circle. After an impressive finals performance and stellar 2019 season Julia Woolley was named the Championship MVP to cap off an already successful year. Woolley won the grand final with the Geelong Cougars showcasing her experience, skill and class both under the post and across the court.

Championship Team of the Year:

Libby Nicol- North East Blaze
Julia Woolley- Geelong Cougars
Emma Ryde- Casey Demons
Tahnysha Salanoa- City West Falcons

Molly Jovic- City West Falcons
Maggie Lind- City West Falcons
Elle McDonald-North East Blaze
Kaitlyn Sheringham- Geelong Cougars

Brooke Allan-Geelong Cougars
Kaitlyn Black- North East Blaze
Stephanie McNay- Southern Saints
Jacqui Newton- City West Falcons

Victorian Netball League: Preliminary Final – Casey charges toward first Grand Final

IN their inaugural season the Casey Demons claimed the unthinkable, running over the top of minor premiers City West Falcons by 19 goals (46-65) in the preliminary final. It was a tight tussle between both sides but accuracy to post proved crucial and ultimately won Casey the game, sitting at 92 per cent compared to 81 per cent. The Demons got out to an early lead and did not look back, building momentum throughout the game and sticking strong to move into their first grand final. On the other hand, the Falcons will be disappointed in their finals campaign going out in straight sets after having such a dominant season.

Casey set the tone early laying everything on the table and working hard to claim ascendancy by contesting each and every ball. The combination of Erin Bell and Emma Ryde worked wonders in the goal circle with the pair only missing six shots for the game at a whopping 92 per cent apiece. Ryde led the way under the goal post with a match high 42 goals from 46 attempts while Bell showcased her experience and play-making skills notching up 22 goals for the match. Their performance was made easier thanks to the work of Shannon Blackman and Kassidy Withers who did a wealth of work out the front to feed the ball into Bell and Ryde and create clever plays to penetrate the defence. Blackman, Withers and Brittany Mashado controlled the tempo of the game and showed great composure to work the ball around the circle edge and not force the ball into the circle, denying Falcons defenders any chance to pick off passes. Defensively Demi Woodlock and Karli Foster put on a clinic clogging up space, applying hands over pressure and using their feet to get around the body and get deflections to disrupt the flow in attack.

It was a disappointing outing for the Falcons who were simply unable to recapture that spark they had in the home and away season. There were changes aplenty with goal shooter Jane Cook earning the start before swapping ends and donning the goal keeper bib in the second half. Cook was solid under the post finding good space and putting up her fair share of shots nailing 17 from 23 before making the switch down back, plying her trade in defence to create confusion for the Casey attack but to no avail. With Cook out of attack, Sri Lankan shooter Tharjini Sivalingam took the court, using her height to full advantage and slotting 13 from 15 at 87 per cent while Madelyn Gray struggled to find the net with five goals from eight attempts showcasing the extreme pressure they were under in the circle. Through the midcourt Molly Jovic and Maggie Lind struggled to have their usual impact around circle edge but still worked tirelessly to feed into the shooters. The defensive end were unable to combat the Demons’ attacking prowess, forced to make a multitude of changes with Sarah Szczkyulski, Zoe Davies, Jacqui Newton and Cook all rotating through in hope to find a winning combination. Soli Ropati and Anger Akec worked hard in wing defence applying strong hands over pressure and denying space circle edge.

The Demons will face Geelong Cougars in the grand final on Wednesday August 14 in hope to claim an inaugural premiership in their short history.

Victorian Netball League Preview: Preliminary Final

IN the standalone final of the week, City West Falcons take on Casey Demons in hope to secure a spot in the grand final. Both sides have shown that they know how to win and can do so convincingly making for an exciting battle. Prior to their loss in the semi-final, the Falcons had only lost one game and will be hoping to reclaim that ascendancy over the competition, however Casey has built some strong momentum.

In their inaugural season, the Casey Demons have made a name for themselves with their slick ball movement and ability to score quickly. The combination between Emma Ryde and ex-Australian Diamond goaler Erin Bell has grown rapidly throughout the season with the two creating good space in the circle and capitalising on their opportunities under the post. wing attack Kassidy Withers has been a key player for the Demons providing good link-up play and strong feeds into the shooters and must maintain that level in the prelim to surge her side ahead. Shannon Blackman could be an integral player for Casey given her versatility and defensive mindset through the midcourt enabling her to get hands to ball and regain possession for her side. Defensively the trio of Demi Woodlock, Karli Foster and Zali Mifsud must be on song from the first whistle to try and disrupt the Falcons attack end and win ball back. All three players have shown that they can stand up under pressure and do the little things well making for an exciting contest.

The City West Falcons have no shortage of firepower across the court with Jane Cook a key cog in attack given her ability to turn and shoot. Her strong commanding presence under the post makes an easy target for the Falcons feeders while her volume and accuracy can turn a game on its head. Defensively the Falcons will be hoping that Zoe Davies, Sarah Szczykulski and Jacqueline Newton win ball back and provide the attacking end with plenty of chances. Newton has plenty of experience and netball nous while Davies and Szczykulski have shown that they can be an imposing threat with their ability to get hands to ball and force turnovers. Through the midcourt the Falcons will be looking to Maggie Lind and Molly Jovic to stand up and take control if they are a chance to progress through to the grand final. Both Lind and Jovic offer plenty of skill and attacking flair through the midcourt and hit the circle edge with speed making them hard to stop when on song.

Both sides have plenty to play for but there are plenty of variables. If the Demons are without Ryde given her commitment to the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball league they could struggle while Tharjini Sivalingam may return for the Falcons.

Victorian Netball League Semi-Finals: Cougars pounce on Falcons in overtime

City West Falcons (65) defeated by Geelong Cougars (67)

THE first game of the 2019 VNL finals series was arguably the most exciting and jaw-dropping game of the round with the match between City West Falcons and Geelong Cougars sent to overtime with scores level at full-time. In the end, it was the Cougars that prevailed by two goals, credit to the intent and desperation of every player on court. Geelong jumped out to an early eight-goal lead at half-time credit to their slick ball movement and defensive pressure across the court, but the Falcons did not go down without a fight, steaming home in the last quarter to draw even but it was not enough, falling in extra time.

It was a gruelling and high pressure match but Cougars shooters Ruby Horton and Julia Woolley stood up under pressure time and time again. The two combined effortlessly in the goal circle with silky movement, strong drives and ability to turn and shoot a real feature of their game. Woolley finished at 90 per cent converting 33 from 37 attempts, while Horton slotted 28 from 33. Bridgette Furphy also made her presence felt on court, coming on and slotting six goals from seven attempts. The goalers relished the work of Emily Post, Vanessa Augustini and Kaitlyn Sheringham through the midcourt with all three finding good space in the attacking third and feeding seamlessly into the circle. With the attack end firing, the defensive combination of Brooke Allan, Victoria Honner, Jessica Standfield and Allie Smith all stood tall, applying strong hands over pressure, clogging up space and causing confusion to force turnovers.

City West only dropped one game all season prior to this match but were simply outrun by Geelong who had a point to prove. In the goal circle Jane Cook commanded the ball and used her imposing figure to hold space and shoot, nailing a whopping 58 goals from 63 attempts. Cook shouldered the load in attack with Tahnysha Salanoa and Madelyn Gray unable to find the net to combine for only seven goals. Through the midcourt Maggie Lind and Molly Jovic worked tirelessly to slice through the defensive pressure and deliver ball into the shooters, using their precision passing and timing to their full advantage. Meanwhile the defensive duo of Sarah Szczykulski and Zoe Davies worked in overdrive to try and create half chances while the inclusion of Jacqui Newton was crucial.

The win sees Geelong move into the grand final while the Falcons will face Casey in the preliminary final next Wednesday.

Victorian Netball League Review: Round 17

WITH Round 17 done and dusted the race for finals is well and truly on. This round had a profound impact on finals with the Southern Saints knocked out of contention, meaning the top four has been finalised with City West Falcons, Geelong Cougars, North East Blaze and Casey Demons all securing a spot in the top four.

Southern Saints (52) defeated by Melbourne University Lightning (61)

Melbourne University Lightning notched up their sixth win of the season with a nine-goal victory over the Southern Saints. Lightning skipped out to an early lead, piling on 18 goals to seven in the opening term and continued that strong form for the remaining three quarters to keep their foot on the throat of the Saints. Melbourne Uni were patient with ball in hand to work the ball down the court while the Saints worked tirelessly in defence to try and limit their opposition access into the circle. Stephanie McNay and Kirsty Clark stood tall in defeat given the amount of pressure down in defence while Lightning defenders Gabrielle Coffey and Madeline Stewart impressed. Both sides shot at even percentage with the Saints edging ahead at 83 per cent compared to 81 per cent. Mikaela Vaughan and Jordan Cransberg combined nicely in attack finding good space and working the angles well to avoid intercepts and deflections from their opposition. Hayley McDougall was solid under the post putting up her fair share of shots for Lightning while Shae Brown showed her versatility to switch between centre and goal attack throughout the match. The connection between Samantha Silvester, Chloe Wilson, Ella Quinlan and Sinead Lumsden was on show once again for the Saints with all four posing a dominant threat around the circle given their ability to sight one another on the lead and let the ball go with confidence.

Boroondara Express (57) defeated Hawks Netball (48)

The Hawks’ up and down season continued, going down to Boroondara Express by nine goals. Up by one goal at half-time, Express rallied in the second half to put on a dominant performance adding 36 goals to their tally compared to 28. Boroondara showed great intensity and desperation in the second half winning the ball in the air and chasing the loose ball to capitalise on their opportunities. Accuracy proved to be no issue for either side with Express sitting at 91 per cent credit to Clare Vearing, Isabelle Hodgson and Anastasia Hamill making the most of their chances under the post while Hawks converted 48 of their 56 attempts at 86 per cent, with key target Kim Commane missing from the court. The combination between Shae Gee and Taylah Shannon was on song early with both finding good space in the circle but it was not enough to get them over the line with Tayla Kearns and Enya Broadley struggling to bring the ball down the court at times. Defensively Express were strong thanks to Caitlyn Degaris and Isabella Brown picking off passes and applying strong pressure to create turnovers in the circle. Up the other end, Hawks defender Kelsey Buxton worked relentlessly to contest every ball and confuse space in the goal circle but Express worked their way through and capitalised.

Ariels (58) defeated by City West Falcons (75)

After a shock loss last week, the City West Falcons worked their way back onto the winners list to claim their sixteenth victory of the season. The Falcons got out to an early lead and did not look back, increasing their lead at each break to run out 17-goal victors. Although the Ariels did not come away with the win they made the most of their opportunities in the goal circle, sitting at 91 per cent accuracy and sinking 58 of their 64 attempts compared to the Falcons’ 84 per cent. Samantha Gooden, Stacey Gannon and Beth Wilson all had an impact on the scoreboard for the Ariels, showcasing their ability to turn and shoot from anywhere in the circle. Through the midcourt Kourtnee Baird and Montana Holmes ran hard to create space and transition down the court. For the Falcons, Jane Cook did a wealth of work under the post to hold her space and shoot. Cook relished the work of midcourt players Molly Jovic and Maggie Lind who delivered the ball with precision and hit the circle hard. With the attack end firing on all cylinders the defensive duo of Zoe Davies and Sarah Szczykulski was unstoppable, continuously sticking to their respective player, contesting every ball and confusing the space to cause turnovers and propel the ball back up the court.

North East Blaze (51) defeated by Geelong Cougars (59)

In the battle of two versus three it was the Geelong Cougars that ran away with the win credit to their desperation and strong structures to stand up under pressure and work their way through the pressure. It was a see-sawing affair with momentum swinging between Blaze and the Cougars, with Geelong claiming the early ascendancy to be up by two goals at quarter time. They maintained that temperament and composure to extend their lead at half time to a four goal buffer, with the biggest lead at three quarter time pushing out to 10 goals. Blaze worked hard to keep themselves in it, reducing the margin to eight at full-time, but it was the Cougars’ defence that consistently stood up with Brooke Allan, Jessica Standfield and Victoria Honner getting hands to ball time and time again. The circle rotation in the attack end was second to none for the Cougars with Ruby Horton, Julia Woolley and Bridgette Furphy all combining effortlessly and scoring with ease at 86 per cent. Their shooting prowess was not to be outdone, with North East capitalising under the post at 88 per cent credit to Elizabeth Nicol and Bronwyn Taylor using their drives and quick footwork to edge closer the post. The midcourt battle created plenty of interest for both sides with Ella Bayliss and Elle McDonald playing their role, driving hard and feeding well into the circle while Vanessa Augustini and Melissa Bragg stood up for the Cougars when needed to win ball and create clever plays across the court.

Peninsula Waves (40) defeated by Casey Demons (61)

The Demons made easy work of the Waves who struggled to combat the offensive pressure applied by Casey. The win all but secured Casey’s spot in the finals, going two games clear of their closest opponent. Casey came out with great intent and hunger to win the ball right across the court, attacking any loose passes and clogging up space in the attacking end for Peninsula. At half time the Demons all but doubled their opponents’ score, heading into the main break up by 16 goals with the lead growing at each change. Once again the combination of Emma Ryde and Erin Bell caused headaches with the Waves unable to limit their influence to post, finding the net with relative ease. The ball placement from Kassidy Withers and Christie Hillberg was impressive, delivering well weighted and pinpoint passes into the circle to make it hard for Waves defenders Mardi Cunningham and Tara Cecil to disrupt their attacking flow. Gabrielle Dwyer, Sacha McDonald and Stacie Gardiner all worked tirelessly in the goal circle to create space for one another and score but they did not receive enough of the ball to put up a competitive total.

Victorian Netball League Review: Round 16

ROUND 16 of the Victorian Netball League saw the City West Falcons lose their first game of the season, while the Casey Demons and Geelong Cougars both recorded big wins against their opponents.

Hawks Netball (51) defeated Peninsula Waves (41)

It was an even start with both sides unable to be separated at quarter time before the Hawks kicked into gear finding some form down the court. They increased the lead at each break running out 10-goal victors against the Waves. The Hawks shooters were on song throughout the match unfazed by the changes in the goal circle with Kim Commane and Tayla Shannon shooting at a combined 92 percent. Shae Gee was also impressive under the post with the total of all three goalers sitting at 83 per cent for the match. Tayla Kearns and Enya Broadley were pivotal through the midcourt to feed the ball into the shooters. For the Waves, Kate Kelly-Oman played her 100th VNL game credit to her endurance and skill. The centre worked tirelessly to combat the Hawks pressure driving hard across the court and creating solid leads. Though their shooting accuracy was down Gabrielle Dwyer and Brierly Parker were solid in the goal circle but just struggled to capitalise on their opportunities. Tara Cecil and Mardi Cunningham worked hard in defence to try and regain possession for the Waves but it was not enough.

Casey Demons (60) defeated Southern Saints (48)

The Casey Demons notched up their ninth win of the season, securing fourth spot on the ladder with the finals quickly approaching. Holding a narrow lead at quarter time the Casey Demons came out with a point to prove in the second term piling on 16 goals and limiting the Saints to 11 for the quarter. A big third quarter effort all but sealed the deal with Emma Ryde and Erin Bell working seamlessly together in the goal circle to cause havoc in the attacking third. Stephanie McNay and Shannon Freeman had a big task to quell the influence of Ryde who has been in hot form and though they tried tirelessly they were unable to stop her dominance under the post. Kassidy Withers and Shannon Blackman made the most of the space they got, delivering well weighted passes into Bell and Ryde. Defensively Karli Foster and Demi Woodlock were solid restricting ball and creating doubt. Southern Saints pair Samantha Silvester and Chloe Wilson worked well in tandem together, shooting accurately and finding space in the goal circle.

City West Falcons (47) defeated North-East Blaze (56)

The North-East Blaze claimed the biggest upset of the round, putting a stop to the Falcons undefeated run. It was a close contest with both sides even at half time before Blaze piled on a whopping 20 goals to 12 in the third term to take a handy lead into the final change. The Blaze stuck with the same line-up for the whole match allowing each player to play their role to their maximum capacity while ensuring that the connections down the court were strong. The Falcons could simply capitalise in front of goal finishing at 72 per cent accuracy compared to Blaze who shot at 95 per cent. Elizabeth Nicol and Sarah Hogan were unstoppable in the goal circle using every inch to drive and sweep across and cause headaches for Sarah Szczykulski and Jacqui Newton. The ball placement from Blaze wing attack Ella Bayliss and centre Elle McDonald was impressive hitting the circle edge hard and delivering well weighted passes. The battle between Kaitlyn Black and Falcons goal shooter Jane Cook provided plenty of excitement with both attacking hard, while Maggie Lind and Molly Jovic were influential through the midcourt for City West.

Ariels (58) defeated Boroondara Express (54)

It was a tale of two halves with Boroondara Express owning the first half before the tables turned with last quarter flurry from the Ariels allowing them to clench victory. Both sides proved that accuracy was no issue with the Ariels sitting at 86 percent and Express at 89 per cent. The Ariels came out strong after half time to push out to a two goal margin before extending it to four at full time. Boroondara jumped out of the blocks early with their connections down court and vision on fire early to let go of passes and create scoring opportunities. Samantha Gooden and Stacey Gannon combined well in the goal circle setting up good screens and rotating through to provide the defenders something to think of. Rudi Ellis and Caitlyn Degaris proved to be a damaging combination in defence credit to their lean over the shot and ability to go out and hunt the ball but their efforts were not enough to stop the Ariels shooters. Isabelle Hodgson and Clare Vearing were damaging with ball in hand and under the post for Express, with Hodgson doing a wealth of work to feed the ball into her shooting partner while also putting up her fair share of shots. Defensively for Ariels, Jessica Maher and Jane Higgs were impressive reading the flight of the ball well and taking timely rebounds.

Melbourne University Lightning (49) defeated by Geelong Cougars (64)

The Geelong Cougars continued their march towards finals with another convincing win over Melbourne University Lightning who struggled to match the intensity and competitiveness of the Cougars. A 20-goal quarter from Geelong handed them a healthy lead at half-time before a big last quarter effort from the Lightning saw them cut the margin back but it was not enough to get within reach of the Cougars who dominated for most of the night. Julia Woolley and Bridgette Furphy were once again prolific under the post with the two growing in confidence each game and posing a dominant threat. Melissa Bragg, Victoria Honner, Jessica Standfield and Brooke Allan were all influential in defence for Geelong cutting off plenty of forward forays from Lightning and repelling the ball back down the court. It was not through a lack of trying though with Rebecca Winch and Mikaela Vaughan working tirelessly in the goal circle to post a handy total. Shae Brown also showed her versatility switching between wing attack, centre and goal attack in hope to provide that missing spark.

Victorian Netball League Review: Round 12

ROUND 12 of the Victorian Netball League saw some close encounters and top of the ladder clashes with City West Falcons and Geelong Cougars facing off. The round also brought some big blowouts with the Ariels and Boroondara suffering another big loss.

North-East Blaze (70) defeated Peninsula Waves (40)

It was a convincing win by North-East Blaze running away with an impressive 30 goal win over the struggling Peninsula Waves. Blaze were a well-oiled machine both in defence and attack using their height up both ends to their advantage. Elizabeth Nicol had a day out under the post with the prolific shooter making the most of her opportunities with 58 goals from 62 attempts at an impressive 94 per cent. Sarah Hogan was also impressive in attack with eight goals and feeding well into Nicol, identifying the space and placing the ball to her teammates advantage. Through the midcourt Ella Bayliss, Kali Dolphin and Chloe Lambert attacked the ball hard and transitioned well to provide scoring opportunities for their side. Credit to the defensive pressure of Blaze the Waves struggled with accuracy to post with a combined shooting percentage of 69 with Brierly Parker, Madeline Morrison and Gabrielle Dwyer unable to capitalise on their opportunities.

Melbourne University Lightning (56) defeated Boroondara Express (32)

Melbourne University Lightning dominated against Boroondara Express with a solid four quarter performance to keep Express well and truly at bay. They led at each break increasing their lead as the match went on to run out 24 goal victors. The attack end fired thanks to Ella Bertacchini, Mikaela Vaughan and Rebecca Winch all finding the net with ease while the defensive pressure of Amy Wirth and Madeline Stewart played a big role in limiting Boroondara’s avenue to goal. Vaughan top scored with 32 goals from 37 attempts at 87 per cent with wing attack Jordan Cransberg feeding the ball well into her teammates and working hard to hit the circle edge with ease. Though Boroondara suffered a big loss Ashley Ryan was immense through the midcourt feeding the ball into Clare Vearing while Isabelle Hodgson also found good space to deliver the ball into the circle and put up 11 goals.

Southern Saints (66) defeated Ariels (39)

The Southern Saints went from strength to strength with their connections down court and timing second to none exploiting the vulnerabilities of the Ariels. It was a relatively even start before the Saints put their foot down and established a commanding 16 goal lead at three quarter time before extending the winning margin to 27 goals. Accuracy to post and the volume of shots proved to be the main difference between the two sides with the Saints sitting way out in front with 72 attempts and 92 percent as opposed to the Ariels who only managed 53 attempts and 74 per cent accuracy. Ella Quinlan was deadly under the post with 30 from 31 at 97 per cent while goal attack Sinead Lumsden also applying scoreboard pressure with 20 goals. Defensively Shannon Freeman, Stephanie McNay and Anna Donnelly all combined well to reduce the influence of Ariels shooters Beth Wilson and Stacey Gannon in the ring. Wilson was the most accurate and prolific shooter for the Ariels with 21 goals from 28 attempts at 75 per cent.

Geelong Cougars (53) defeated by City West Falcons (54)

It was an extremely close encounter with both sides going toe to toe for the entire match. The lead chopped and changed throughout the game with Geelong holding the lead early before City West fought back to draw even and push ahead to claim a one goal victory. Both sides were composed with ball in hand and treasured possession while capitalising on opportunities under the post. Tharjini Sivalingam proved to be unstoppable in the goal circle using her height and clever footwork to dominate in the air with a whopping 53 goals from 59 attempts at 90 per cent. Through the midcourt Molly Jovic and Maggie Lind worked their way through traffic to hit the circle edge and deliver ball into Sivalingam. Cougars defenders Victoria Honner and Jessica Standfield were with Honner providing good drive through the midcourt. Julia Woolley and Ruby Horton shared the load in attack with 25 and 28 goals respectively at a combined shooting accuracy of 83 per cent.

Hawks Netball (47) defeated by Casey Demons (56)

Both sides showcased their intensity and hunt for the ball with only one goal separating them at half time before the Demons surged ahead to claim a nine goal win. The Hawks were unable to maintain their pressure for the full four quarters with Casey piercing through the defence to feed the ball into shooting machine Emma Ryde who managed 23 from 27 at 86 per cent while Peri Stewart and Erin Bell both hit the scoreboard with Stewart highlighting her accuracy at 92 per cent. Wing attacks Shannon Blackman and Kassidy Withers found good space in the attacking third while down in defence Natasha Petroff and Karli Foster applied good hands over pressure. Daisy Hill was prolific for the Hawks scoring the bulk of their goals with 42 from 52 at 80 percent. Tayla Kearns and Lillian O’Sullivan were impressive on the drive using their quick hands and footwork to deliver ball into the goal circle.

Victorian Netball League Review: Round 11

ROUND 11 of the Victorian Netball League saw some blowout games and close contests. The City West Falcons continued their dominant ways with the Geelong Cougars and Southern Saints also following suit.

Casey Demons (31) defeated by City West Falcons (66)

The City West Falcons put out an impressive and clinical four quarter performance against the Casey Demons who struggled to combat both the offensive and defensive pressure applied by the Falcons. They looked slick from the get go with their crisp passing across the court and ability to work their way through the pressure of the Demons. City West all but doubled their opponents score at half time and kept their foot on the throat with defenders Zoe Davies and Sarah Szczykulski putting on a masterclass in the goal circle. Their ability to roll off their opponents and get hands to ball provided the Falcons with plenty of turnover ball which they capitalised on. The two took their fair share of intercepts nullifying the influence of Demons shooters Erin Bell, Emily Wilson and Kassidy Withers. Up the other end the Falcons goalers dominated with Tharjini Sivalingam sitting at 100 per cent with 31 goals straight. She was assisted by Jane Cook who made her presence felt on the scoreboard with 29 goals from 38 attempts, while the work of Molly Jovic and Maggie Lind was impressive feeding the ball into the circle and moving into the goal circle themselves.

North-East Blaze (59) defeated Melbourne University Lightning (44)

It was an interesting clash between North-East Blaze and Melbourne University Lightning with Lightning holding a three goal buffer at quarter time before the Blaze asserted themselves on the game to push comfortably ahead. Blaze piled on 18 goals to eight in the second quarter and maintained that momentum throughout the remaining quarters. Elizabeth Nicol had a stellar game under the post showcasing her accuracy finding the net with ease and clever footwork to create space converting 47 of her 50 attempts at 90 per cent. Her partner in crime Sarah Hogan also played her role putting up 12 shots while the work from midcourters Abbey Ellis and Chloe Lambert was imperative allowing the shooters to reposition and feeding well into the circle. Amy Wirth and Madeline Stewart had their work cut out for them in defence for the Lightning working hard to stop the Blaze shooter’s but it was to no avail. The Lightning leading goal scorer was Amelia Brock who nailed 24 from 28 followed by Rebecca Winch with 13 from 16 at 82 per cent.

Hawks Netball (46) defeated by Geelong Cougars (64)

The Geelong Cougars continued their winning ways with an 18 goal victory over the Hawks Netball who have struggled throughout the season. Geelong extended their lead at every break showcasing their intent and precision with ball in hand to transition down the court and capitalise on their opportunities. Once again it was the work of Julia Woolley and Ruby Horton that proved to be the difference with the two shooters only missing six shots between them and posting a high volume of attempts. Woolley finished with 31 from 34 at 92 per cent while Horton had 26 from 29 at 90 percent. The delivery of the ball into the circle played a huge role in the Cougars win with Vanessa Augustini and Emily Post doing a wealth of work to hit the circle edge and feed the ball into the shooters. For the Hawks, Shae Gee led the charge with 32 goals from 43 attempts at 75 percent. Defensively, Shannon Rennison and Clare Johnson worked in overtime to try and confuse the space and cause turnovers but the Cougars were too clinical.

Ariels (50) defeated by Peninsula Waves (52)

Searching for their third win of the season the Ariels pushed out to a five goal lead at half time credit to their composed and calculated nature on court. But the Waves came out firing after time to claim a two goal victory piling on 30 goals to 23 after the main break. Peninsula lifted their intensity across the court and limited the opportunity of the Ariels allowing them to pick up turnover ball and capitalise. The teamwork of Madison Capsalis and Gabby Dwyer was imperative in working the ball down the court and hitting the circle edge to provide good ball into the Waves shooters. Madeline Morrison led the way in the goal circle for the Waves with 21 from 26 at 81 percent while Brierly Parker also chipped in on the scoreboard with eight goals. For the Ariels the combination between Alex Maher and Stacey Gannon was solid with Maher taking control and scoring 31 goals from 33 attempts at 94 per cent.

Boroondara Express (41) defeated by Southern Saints (64)

In the final game of the round the Southern Saints flexed their muscles with a 23 goal win over Boroondara Express who were unable to contain the Saints for four quarters. The Saints skipped out to an early eight goal lead and did not look like giving it up throughout the match with their slick ball movement and game play on full display. Their defensive pressure was immense while they converted on their chances under the post with Samantha Silvester and Ella Quinlan showcasing their accuracy. Silvester managed 27 goals from 29 attempts at 94 percent while Quinlan chipped in with 26 at 90 per cent. Stephanie McNay and Lyshae Barry worked well in defence together for the Saints limiting the influence of the Express shooters. Clare Vearing was the most prolific for Boroondara with 21 goals while Isabelle Hodgson also featured on the scoreboard with 17 goals. Isabella Brown showcased her versatility switching from goal defence to wing defence and into centre.