The Victorian Netball League resumed on Wednesday night for Round Two of the season at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Parkville.
It may be early in the season, however, the Geelong Cougars, the Boroondara Express and Melbourne University Lightning have cemented themselves as the teams to beat in 2016 after their unbeaten starts this year.
The Cougars were too good for the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels winning 76 to 40, while Boroondara ran out 12-goal victors ahead of fellow Round One winners, the Peninsula Waves.
It is Melbourne University Lightning who top the championship ladder after two rounds however, after they recorded a 56-35 victory against the Wilson Storage Southern Saints.
“It is always good to get a win. I’m pleased with the team’s effort and winning all four quarters,” Melbourne University Lightning Head Coach Elissa Kent said.
“We had quite a few changes tonight, different goaling combinations, different defense circle combinations and different centre court combinations, so we will probably continue that throughout the season as well.”
DC North East Blaze recorded their first win of the season with a dominant 27-goal win against the Monash University Storm.
From the starting whistle the Blaze played a high intensity match and were particularly impressive in their transition down the court. Their mid-courters also provided their goalers with plenty of expert feeds.
Defensive weapon Kaitlyn Black was a standout on the night, collecting multiple intercepts and restricting the influence of the opposing goalers on the court.
“Kaitlyn has really excelled in the last three months. We have been working with her to re-position quickly and being able to contest every ball. She’s doing well with her one-on-one defense and turning over more balls, she’s been a great addition to our club,” DC North East Blaze Championship Coach Kate Upton said.
With two more games to come in the next week, the Blaze are hoping that their increased depth this season will provide them with an advantage over their opponents.
“We have got a lot of depth throughout our championship side and we have also made a lot of changes that we would not usually make in previous years.”
In the other Round Two Championship fixture, the City West Falcons recorded their first victory against the ACU Sovereigns, winning 65 to 41.
A special Anzac themed Round Three will be held at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Sunday 24 April.
VNL ROUND 2 RESULTS
Geelong Cougars 76 def 40 Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels
Wilson Storage Southern Saints 35 lost to 56 Melbourne University Lightning
Monash University Storm 32 lost to 59 DC North East Blaze
City West Falcons 65 def 41 ACU Sovereigns
Boroondara Express 48 def 36 Peninsula Waves
Monash University Storm 34 lost to 47 DC North East Blaze
City West Falcons 50 def 34 ACU Sovereigns
Boroondara Express 48 lost to 51 Peninsula Waves
Geelong Cougars 44 drew with 44 Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels
Wilson Storage Southern Saints 49 def 43 Melbourne University Lightning
Boroondara Express 46 def 35 Peninsula Waves
Geelong Cougars 51 def 29 Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels
Wilson Storage Southern Saints 35 lost to 42 Melbourne University Lightning
Monash University Storm 28 lost to 42 DC North East Blaze
City West Falcons 45 lost to 49 ACU Sovereigns
Top 3 Goal Scorers
1. Ruby Horton (Geelong Cougars) – 65/73
2. Ashlee Howard (Boroondara Express) – 62/67
3. Mikaela Vaughan (Melbourne University Lightning) – 46/57
1. Taylin Gourley (Melbourne University Lightning) – 73/84
2. Grace Parker (Geelong Cougars) 62/84
3. Chloe Curran (Wilson Storage Southern Saints) – 60/72
1. Leota Suli (DC North East Blaze) – 56/63
2. Abbey Ryan (ACU Sovereigns) – 55/72
3. Daisy Hill (Monash University Storm) – 47/64