Sovereigns record first VNL championship win of season

ACU Sovereigns recorded their first win of the VNL season against the ArielsThe ACU Sovereigns recorded their first championship victory of the season in a night of upsets in Round Seven of the Victorian Netball League at the State Netball Hockey Centre on Wednesday.

After an evenly contested opening quarter, the Sovereigns went on a run of seven consecutive goals in the second quarter and were never headed, cruising to a comfortable 53-39 victory against the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.

Head Coach Johannah Curran was delighted with their first victory of the year.

“We have been working really hard and to finally get across the line tonight and put out some of the things that we have been trying to implement in training into practice has been really pleasing,” she said.

In the absence of Alicia Janz (broken hand) and Tayla Honey (Victorian Fury), Curran stepped on to court, directing the team in a player/coach role from GK.

It paid dividends, with the team playing with a greater intensity and transitioning much quicker from defence to attack.

After an even opening term the message at quarter time was for the team to pull away in the second.

“The message was to really go out there and pull away, be confident with the ball and let the ball go if it’s there and to play with that short, sharp ball movement which is what we have been lacking in the first six rounds,” Curran said.

With 11 rounds remaining this season the aim for the Sovereigns is to keep building as a group.

“I have got a really big belief in the athletes that we have, it is not only a terrific group off the court but I really think they are starting to gel together,” Curran said.

“We have got some super talent, some really young kids, so we will keep building on their performances and aim to put in some more improved performances in the latter part of the year.”

In other results, the previously undefeated Melbourne University Lightning suffered their first championship defeat of the season by going down to a polished City West Falcons outfit 57-55.

The Wilson Storage Southern Saints kept themselves in the hunt for a top four finish with an eight-goal victory against the Boroondara Express, while the Geelong Cougars returned to their best with a dominant 74-45 win against the Monash University Storm.

The Cougars 19/Under side are now the only undefeated side in the competition left this season after they recorded a 17-goal win against the Storm.

In the final championship match of the round, the DC North East Blaze secured their third victory of the season against the Peninsula Waves to move to fifth on the ladder.

Below is a full lists of results from Round Seven of the Victorian Netball League.

Championship
Melbourne University Lightning 55 v 57 City West Falcons
Peninsula Waves 46 v 54 DC North East Blaze
Geelong Cougars 74 v 45 Monash University Storm
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 39 v 53 ACU Sovereigns
Boroondara Express 41 v 49 Wilson Storage Southern Saints

Division One
Peninsula Waves 36 v 46 DC North East Blaze
Geelong Cougars 47 v 47 Monash University Storm
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 50 v 39 ACU Sovereigns
Boroondara Express 37 v 55 Wilson Storage Southern Saints
Melbourne University Lightning 34 v 56 City West Falcons

19/Under
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 51 v 57 ACU Sovereigns
Boroondara Express 37 v 46 Wilsons Storage Southern Saints
Melbourne University Lightning 39 v 50 City West Falcons
Peninsula Waves 37 v 43 DC North East Blaze
Geelong Cougars 49 v 32 Monash University Storm