It was a jam-packed Wednesday night as every VNL side took to the State Netball and Hockey Centre to face off in a total of 15 matches.
Clare Pettyfor from Hawks Netball celebrated 100 games, Super Suncorp player Gabby Sinclair returned to Melbourne University Lightning and City West Falcons soared as each section acquired a win.
This is your Round 8 breakdown from the Bupa VNL.
Lightning were in fine form Wednesday night with recently recruited SSN Magpies player, Gabby Sinclair, returning to her VNL squad for the first time in 2019.
Coming up against the undefeated Falcons presented a challenge for Lightning. With a determination to give Falcons a run for their money, Lightning came out with consistent passing and tight movement down the court to get one point up on Falcons at the end of the first quarter, 11-10.
Falcons didn’t stay behind for long and scored 18-goals to Lightning’s 7-goals in the second quarter, Sivalingam and Salanoa for Falcons not missing a single shot in the quarter. Holding a sizeable 10-goal lead at the beginning of the second half, not even the fast feet and communication between Sinclair, Vaughan and Cransberg in Lightning’s goal third could not stop Falcons from taking their eighth consecutive win of the season, 46-65.
It was a bitter sweet night for Hawks Championship squad as long-time player and 19/ U Assistant Coach, Clare Pettyfor, celebrated 100 games with Hawks. Unfortunately, her team could not pull out a win to celebrate the occasion which allowed Southern Saints to snatch not only a 29-goal win but also Hawks’ 5th spot on the ladder.
With a 3-goal lead at the end of the first quarter, Hawks needed consistency to continue their lead. Saints seemed to see this and caught Hawks completely by surprise to 20-goals in the second quarter and turn their 3-goal deficit into and 10-goal advantage.
Looking fatigued in the second half, Hawks indecisive passing and unsteadiness down the court allowed Saints to have full control of the contest. Saints managed to double Hawks’ scoring shots in the second half to see a comfortable win.
You can check out Clare’s Round 4 interview here!
An evenly contested first quarter for Blaze and Ariels saw the scores tied up, 14-all, at the end of the first quarter. A second quarter intensity lift for Blaze gave them the energy they needed to take back control of the match and see them play the high standard of netball they are known for, especially through the mid court.
Libby Nicol and Sarah Hogan stood out in the second quarter for Blaze as they shot a combined 17-goals at 100% shooting accuracy. 6 consecutive goals from Blaze, resulting from centre pass breaks and impressive turnovers by McDonald and Coppinger, extended Blaze’s lead even more. Blaze’s 17-goal win over Ariels makes it their seventh of the season.
Blaze players Elle McDonald and Kaitlyn Black also lead the current Championship MVP votes. Nicol, once again shooting with precision, shot her 372nd goal of the season to secure top scorer in Championship so far.
A strong first quarter for Geelong gave them an advantage that ultimately saw them take the win against Waves. Strong pressure down the midcourt and consistency to capitalise on turnovers, Cougars took control of the game early to hold a comfortable 14-goal lead at the end of the first half.
Waves sneaky passes in their goal circle made it difficult for Honner and Standfield to predict the type of pass to cover. Madison Capsalis, Waves Wing-Attack, continued to reposition herself well around the goal circle to reoffer and create options every centre pass.
However, consistency in Cougars team play meant as soon as their defenders achieved an intercept turnover, without fault their midcourt could get it down to Ruby Horton in goals. Position herself well over most of the match, Horton secured a total of 44-goals for her team. Finishing as strong as they started, Geelong took home another win to keep 2nd place on the ladder.
Boroondara on the hunt for the second win unfortunately couldn’t find it tonight as Demons defeated them by a decisive 20-goals.
Casey entered with high spirits to take the first 3-goals of the match. Driving hard and fast to the ball, Casey worked incredibly well as a team to predict the placement of their team mates and pass with precision. Taking a 16-goal lead at the end of the first half, Emma Ryde’s 93% shooting accuracy allowed them to shoot another 38-goals in the second half and finish with the last 3-goals, similar to their start to the game.
In an evenly contested match, Lighting and Falcons stuck tight on one another and displayed confidence in their decision making to make it an exciting match to watch. The most separating the two throughout the match was 3-goals which meant it all came down to the final quarter.
With only minutes left in the final quarter, Lightning trailed by 2-goals as Falcons consecutively shot 3-goals to obtain a needed advantage. Lightning had an opportunity with 2-scoring shots in the final quarter but couldn’t complete the goals which gave Falcons their third win of the season.
A notable player from Falcons was Uneeq Palavi who played in goals to shoot 49-goals at 93% accuracy and be a key reason for Falcons close win over Lightning.
Looking to redeem themselves after just missing out to Blaze by 2-goals last week, Hawks entered their match against Saints with an intensity similar to that of Round 6.
Hawks emerged to record a convincing 57-37 win against Saints, playing a steady match that displayed consistent teamwork across the court. Hawks executed some outstanding cross-court passes by driving hard and fast to make space.
Jasmine Ferguson’s midcourt abilities stood out on court once again, emphasising her as a key contender for season MVP.
Blaze remain the team to beat in Division One, recording another sizeable win to remain undefeated. Ending as strong as they started, Blaze scored 19-goals in the first and last quarter. Consistency over four quarter proved the difference for Blaze, once again, as players intensity did not drop for a moment over the match.
Despite a second quarter surge of power in Ariels attacking end, Blaze had too big a lead and confidently won by 18-goals.
Riding the high from last week’s win against Casey, Cougars entered their first quarter against Waves with confidence and accuracy. Peninsula also possessed a certain drive coming into the first quarter which made for a close start.
Strong pressure down the midcourt and consistency to capitalise on turnovers, Cougars took control of the game in the second half to double Waves’ scoring shots and lead by 21. Georgina Cuthbertson shot at a striking 96% accuracy over the match.
Cougars maintained their momentum over the last two quarters of the match to secure their 2nd place on the Division One ladder with a 21-goal win over Waves.
After their Grand Final like win against Falcons last week, Boroondara kept their winning streak rolling to well-deservingly defeat Casey Demons by 24-goals.
Boroondara, who had an advantage in the number of matches won this season, entered with the same ferocity from last week. The synergy between Alex Ball and Ruby Barkmeyer in Boroondara’s goal end in the second half was electric and complimented the teamwork of Maddy Wallmeyer and Chelsea Sartori in the midcourt.
Unfortunately for Casey, it was their inconsistency that got the best of them this week.
19 & Under
Both teams had their share of the momentum throughout the match with rapid feeding between goalers down both ends of the court. The talk between Falcons in the mid court and their steadiness to maintain control of the games pace saw them lead the entire match.
It was their third quarter attacking precision and midcourt defensive pressure that helped them extend their 13-goal lead to 21-goals entering the final quarter. Falcons sustained fitness levels to deliver an unwavering final 15-minutes to achieve another win and hold 1st position on the ladder.
After a slow start to the season, Saints seem to be creeping their way up the ladder as their team appear to be more comfortable on court with one another.
Taking an 11-goal lead in the first quarter, Saints came out with determination. Persistent in their pressure over the ball and more confident in their passes compared to previous matches, Saints maintained their lead over the course of the match to achieve an 8-goal defeat over Hawks.
An extremely close first quarter started things tied up at 12-all for Ariels and Blaze and the end of the first quarter. Blazes movement to constantly reoffer and reposition themselves for passes stood out down the court while Ariels decisive feeding into the circle helped them get up on Blaze in the second quarter, 31-23.
Lacking height against Ariels goalers, De Lazzari and George in Blazes defence possessed the needed jump and mobility to get around the ball and disrupt Ariels play.
What seemed like a comeback in the third quarter, Blaze tightened the margin from 8-goals to 4-goals by forcing 3 intercepts in Ariels goals. Despite this surge in the third quarter, Blaze fell short in the final quarter and allowed Ariels to take back points to win by 10-goals.
With Ellen Doyle in defence and leading the MVP votes so far, Cougars had a strong team with known on-court communication to take another win of the season and secure 2nd place. Much to their surprise, Waves were not afraid of the competition and entered the match with an excellent fight.
Waves’ fast pace movement of the ball seemed to shake Cougars in the first quarter for Waves to lead by 6-goals. Waves continued their intensity into the second quarter with a heightened intensity to extend the margin to 13-goals.
Cougars were determined to turn the match around in the second half to outscore Waves by 7-goals, but the impressive stare from Waves couldn’t be defeated as they snatched a 6-goal win to scrape into 4th spot on the ladder.
While Casey were hoping for their first win of the season, Boroondara were looking to lift their spirits after last week’s sizable defeat against Falcons.
Boroondara looked strong in their warm-ups and the intensity carried through to their first quarter as they obtained a 7-goal lead. Boroondara made use of all their opportunities to speed the ball down the court into their goalers who positioned themselves well in the circle.
With smoother transitions and less trouble feeding into their goalers than Casey, Boroondara extended their lead to 23-goals by the end of the match.
Eight sides will return to State Netball and Hockey Centre next week for Round 9 to play matches at 6:45pm, 8:15pm and 9:45pm. Casey Demons and Peninsula Waves will fight it out at the new and improved Maroondah Nets from 7pm. Head down for a full night of swift skills and competitive netball!
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Written by Amellia Wood