The Victorian Netball League season commenced at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Wednesday 6 April with reigning Championship premiers the Boroondara Express picking up where they left in 2015 with a round one win against the City West Falcons.
In arguably the game of the round, nothing separated both teams in the first quarter of the Grand Final rematch with the teams heading into the first break at 13-all.
An inspired quarter time spray from Coach Robynn Pym saw Boroondara assert their dominance at the start of the second, opening up a five goal margin at the mid-way point before the Falcons pegged a goal back to trail by four at the main break.
“I was not overly happy with our defensive technique, I just thought we were handing them the ball quite easily,” Pym said.
“I said to them start running your feet, start coming through and taking the ball, we need to change the game and that is what we did.”
Boroondara held their advantage throughout the third before the City West Falcons made a late charge in the fourth, coming within two of the lead before some composed shooting from Ashlee Howard saw the Express take out the grand final rematch 58 to 53.
With a couple of key players missing from their starting seven Pym was pleased with their start to the season.
“The girls that took to the court tonight really showed that we have got a lot of changes and a lot of diversity and capability out there which is great.”
The City West Falcons dominated the other two fixtures against Boroondara earlier in the night winning division one by 17 and 19/U by 18 goals.
“I was happy with those two and the champs were not too far off too really considering we have a lot of new players in there,” City West Falcons Coach Marg Lind said.
Tipped by many as the team to beat this season, the Geelong Cougars, led by a dominant performance by Ruby Horton in attack, started their Championship season strongly with a six goal win against the Wilsons Storage Southern Saints.
The Cougars were successful in all three matches against the Southern Saints with their division one and 19/U teams also tasting success.
“We have had quite a few changes in the players, have brought in one of our division one goalers up, Kate Thompson who is in Fury has come back and a couple of mid quarters who are from the western region as well so it was really pleasing to see, we have done really well,” Geelong Championship Coach Gerard Murphy said.
In the other Championship fixtures, the Peninsula Waves and the Melbourne University Lightning recorded big wins against the Yarra Valley Ariels and DC North East Blaze respectively.
While the Monash University Storm clinched a narrow two goal win against the ACU Sovereigns.
ROUND 1 RESULTS
Geelong Cougars 54 def Wilson Storage Southern Saints 48
Peninsula Waves 58 def Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 38
Melbourne University Lightning 52 def DC North East Blaze 37
Boroondara Express 58 def City West Falcons 53
ACU Sovereigns 44 lost to Monash University Storm 46
Melbourne University Lightning 48 def DC North West Blaze 47
Boroondara Express 31 lost to City West Falcons 48
ACU Sovereigns 35 lost to Monash University Storm 47
Geelong Cougars 52 def Wilsons Storage Southern Saints 44
Peninsula Waves 38 lost to Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 56
ACU Sovereigns 53 def Monash University Storm 35
Boroondara Express 40 lost to City West Falcons 58
Geelong Cougars 52 def Wilsons Storage Southern Saints 39
Peninsula Waves 34 lost to Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 43
Melbourne University Lightning 26 lost to DC North East Blaze 48
Top 3 Scorers
1. Ruby Horton (Geelong Cougars) – 39/44
2. Ashlee Howard (Boroondara Express)
3. Elizabeth Nicol (Wilsons Storage Southern Saints) – 26/31
1. Taylin Gourley (Melbourne University Lightning) – 36/40
2. Jordyn Bibby (ACU Sovereigns) – 29/35
3. Rebecca Colwell (DC North East Blaze)
1. Madelyn Gray (City West Falcons) – 30/30
2. Jessica Lallo (Boroondara Express) – 24/27
3. Annie Spear (City West Falcons) – 17/23
Visit vnl.com.au for the latest news, statistics and results.