24/04/2016 VNL Anzac weekend round Photo: Grant Treeby

The Melbourne University Lightning have moved to equal first on the Victorian Netball League ladder following the completion of Round Three at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on Sunday.

The round was played in a tremendous spirit following an Anzac service which moved all the of the players, coaches and spectators in attendance.

The level-of-play was outstanding, with the women putting their bodies on the line to produce the best netball played in the VNL so far this season.

The match of the round saw the Melbourne University Lightning move to the top of the VNL Championship ladder after they won a hard-fought contest against the Geelong Cougars, in a top of the table clash.

The Lighting led from start to finish, playing with a high intensity up and down the court to run out 13-goal winners.

Melbourne University Lightning Championship Coach Elissa Kent was pleased with their hard fought win on Sunday.

“They are a very good side and the pressure was there from the start, I think there was one goal in it in that first quarter and from there it could have been anyone’s game but I am really pleased with the way the girls pushed it out,” Kent said.

Although she was delighted with the team effort displayed she believed Casey Price was a standout performer against the Cougars.

“I thought Casey Price had an excellent game,” Kent said.

“Our defenders as a whole have been working really hard on positioning, unity and doing the small things that get you a win in the end so I thought Casey had a terrific game. She is not a natural GK and she had to play three quarters there.”

Inspired by the Anzac service that took place prior to their Match, the Wilson Storage Southern Saints recorded their first Championship victory of the season against the ACU Sovereigns, 56 to 49.

“I think that we had some quiet patches there that we can improve on, especially when they came back in the third quarter, but it is a big improvement from their first two games so we are heading in the right direction,” Saints Head Coach Jane Searle said.

From the initial whistle the Saints played with great conviction, applying plenty of defensive pressure and working hard for each other across the four quarters having been motivated by the Anzac service.

“I think it is a great honour for us to play on the Anzac weekend, especially having one of the girl’s grandfather’s here who fought against the Japanese in Papua New Guinea, so we took a lot of inspiration out of that,” Searle said.

“Obviously you cannot compare playing a game of netball to the sacrifices that they made but it is all about our teamwork and what we did for our mates and so we took that out onto the court and I think that lifted everybody.”

In other championship results, the Boroondara Express joined the Melbourne University Lightning as the only other undefeated team after three rounds with a commanding 68-25 win against the Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.

The City West Falcons beat the DC North East Blaze 64-56, and the Monash University Storm defeated the Peninsula Waves 55-46.

Round 4 commences on Wednesday 27 April at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.



DC North East Blaze 56 v 64 City West Falcons
ACU Sovereigns 49 v 56 Wilson Storage Southern Saints
Peninsula Waves 46 v 55 Monash University Storm
Melbourne University Lightning 52 v 39 Geelong Cougars
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 25 v 68 Boroondara Express

Division One
ACU Sovereigns 35 v 48 Wilson Storage Southern Saints
Peninsula Waves 35 v 41 Monash University Storm
Melbourne University Lightning 47 v 57 Geelong Cougars
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 41 v 46 Boroondara Express
DC North East Blaze 43 v 38 City West Falcons

Melbourne University Lightning 30 v 57 Geelong Cougars
Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 41 v 35 Boroondara Express
DC North East Blaze 39 v 42 City West Falcons
ACU Sovereigns 53 v 42 Wilson Storage Southern Saints
Peninsula Waves 38 v 37 Monash University Storm

Top 3 Goal Scorers
1. Elizabeth Nicol (Wilson Storage Southern Saints) – 68/77
2. Jane Cook (City West Falcons) – 68/79
3. Simone Nalder (DC North East Blaze) – 68/90

Division One
1. Alex Maher (Peninsula Waves) – 77/93
2. Taylin Gourley (Melbourne University Lightning) – 73/84
3. Monique Lenehan-Moustafa (Monash University Storm) – 71/89

1. Suli Leota (DC North East Blaze) – 75/89
2. Xenia Brookes (Melbourne University Lightning) – 61/77
3. Gabie Rieniets (Geelong Cougars) – 59/69

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