Victorian Netball League: Round 9 Wrap

Championship

Melbourne University Lightning pushed their hopes of a top four spot and dented Monash University Storms’s in the process, winning 46-39 in Pakenham.VNL_Rd9_2015

The Storm led by as much as four goals in the second quarter, but that was where the visitors turned up the heat; with Lightning goaler Mikaela Vaughan on song with 37 goals from 46 attempts.

DC North East Blaze kept their spot in the top four after overrunning the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 42-33 in Diamond Creek.

With the lead swapping several times in the first half, the introduction of Blaze goaler Elly Stewart (19 from 22) proved pivotal, as a 15-6 third quarter broke the game open for the home side.

The Peninsula Waves stunned the Wilson Storage Southern Saints with a thrilling upset to win 42-43 at Mentone College.

The Waves started the game brightly and led for the match’s entirety. A three-goal advantage at the final change proved to be enough to hold off the third-placed Saints challenge to secure a single-goal win.

The Geelong Cougars notched up their third win of the season in Wendouree, defeating the ACU Sovereigns 45-60.

While Cynna Kydd’s 31 goals from 35 attempts was a bright spot, Geelong’s goaling pair Elle Rice (27 from 32) and Bree Walton (29 from 35) triggered a 36-goal first half to form the Cougar’s large win.

Kath Knott notched her second 40-goal game of the season in the City West Falcon’s 63-39 belting of Boroondara Express at Maribyrnong College.

The Falcons raced to a double-digit lead early in the piece with superb offensive execution and cruised after half time to solidify their place on top of the Championship division ladder.

 

Division 1

The Storm pipped the Lightning at the post to record a thrilling 45-44 win.

Melbourne led by as much as seven at half time and for much of the third quarter, before accurate shooting from Nat Billings (27 from 33) and second half-introduced Monique Lenehan-Moustafa (17 from 19) guided the home side to a wonderful comeback victory.

The Blaze signalled their intentions at the halfway point of the season with a 54-23 win over the Ariels.

The Blaze were at their defensive best led by goal keeper Lynsey Barrett, consistently nullifying any Ariels attack allowing no more than eight goals in a quarter to ensure a crushing win.

The Saints kept themselves in touch with the top two at the season’s midpoint, holding off the Waves in a top four classic.

In a match of swinging momentums, the Waves faltered when it mattered most with Sai

nts goaler Chloe Curran (23 from 31) making them pay on the other end to hold on for a three-goal win.

Geelong kept themselves in touch with the top four with a scrappy 43-35 win over the Sovereigns.

Cougars defender Tess Rice stood out with elite pressure and rebound while goaler Ruby Horton (30 from 35) provided plenty of trouble for the Sovereigns defence.

The Falcons needed an even, full-team contribution to overhaul a dogged Express outfit, winning 45-34.

The Express took the contest up to the ladder-leading Falcons right up to half time, before an efficient City West side flexed their muscle in the third quarter to set up a match-defining lead.

 

19 & Under

The Storm were left to rue a host of missed opportunities falling to the Lightning 34-35.

Despite putting 10 more shots up, the visitors could hardly find the bottom of the net in a largely untidy affair, that Lightning goalers Jacinta Savory (23 from 28) and Hayley Mathews (12 from 15) be the accurate difference.

The Ariels moved to within half a game of the top four with a strong 41-34 win over the Blaze.

Led at both ends by defender Abbey Rutherford and goaler Lauren Spinks (24 from 27), the Ariels lent on a solid first three quarters to cruise to fifth victory of 2015.

The Saints solidified their spot in the top four at the half way mark of the season with a 46-36 win over the Waves.

Buoyed by a strong defensive performance in the first half, the Saints were serviced well by mid-courter Kate Kelly-Olman to lead at every change for the decisive win.

The Sovereigns notched up their most impressive win of the season, inflicting a second straight defeat of the Cougars 41-30.

Similar to the way the Saints had done just days earlier, the Sovereigns broke down Geelong’s attack and took their scoring chances as Sacha McDonald (27 from 32) guided the home side to their fifth win and fourth spot on the ladder.

A dynamic second half saw the Falcons blow away the Express with a comfortable 57-28 win.

After an inaccurate first half, the Falcons quickly found their groove with twin towers Kayla Mallet (28 from 39) and Amelia Brock (19 from 25) leading the way for a comfortable win and moving a game clear of second-placed Geelong.