Sides soar at Round 6 Bupa VNL

With teams clearly back in their Bupa VNL groove, Round 6 made for some shock upsets, fiery contests and a whole lot of quality netball.

This week we heard what Ariels’ 19 & Under Female team and Peninsula Waves’ Division One captain had to say about their start to the 2019 and what to look out for when they take the court next week.

Championship

Hawks Netball (54) def Ariels (45)

 

An extremely fiery contest from Hawks and Ariels resulted in a match full of intensity. An evenly matched first half displayed determination and drive down the court from both teams.

Tight and well-executed center pass plays were a strength of Ariels in the first half however Hawks’ pressure on the ball allowed them to level Ariels score at half time, 24-all.

A second half power surge from Hawks made for excellent watching as the flow of passes from midcourt players Lillian O’Sullivan and Lauren Bennett provided opportunities for Shae Gee and Tayla Shannon to score, taking a comfortable 6-goal lead in the third quarter.

Consistency in the fourth quarter allowed Hawks to take their third win of the season, 54-45, a standout performance from Gee Shae who scored the majority of her teams’ goals with shooting percentage of 90%.

Boroondara Express (44) def by Geelong Cougars (63)

 

Hoping to secure another win after tasting sweet victory against Ariels last week, Boroondara took to Maribyrnong to face 2nd placed Geelong Cougars.

A close first quarter contest was short lived as Cougars took off in the second quarter to shoot 19 goals compared with Boroondara’s 8. Cougars lead only extended as the match continued, scoring another 19 goals in the third quarter.

Geelong’s Kaitlyn Sheringham played a strong game in Centre and Wing-Attack, feeding strategically into the goals and putting pressure over the ball on turnovers.

The final quarter saw Boroondara lift their intensity but it was too late to take a lead. Geelong’s fifth win of the season, they proved once again how team communication and consistency over four quarters make them a competitor to look out for in 2019.

Melbourne University Lightning (46) def Peninsula Waves (40)

 

A win against Waves this week saw Lightning move up the ladder from 8th to 7th place. Taking their second win of the season, Lightning entered the match focused and revitalised after falling short to Cougars last week.

Both Waves and Lightning had their share of the momentum throughout the match but the talk between Lightning in the mid court and their steadiness to maintain control of the ball saw them lead the entire match. 

Despite Waves defensive pressure and tactical movement around the goal circle, they struggled to keep up with Lightning who finished off strong in the last quarter to see another win for the year, 46-40.

City West Falcons (65) def Wilson Storage Southern Saints (49)

 

Taking on the undefeated City West Falcons, Saints knew they had a challenge, but it was one they were clearly up for.

Saints started on a high with decisive decision making to take a 5-goal lead in the first quarter. Falcons fought hard in the second quarter to take back the match and deny Saints the opportunity to take it away.

Maggie Lind manoeuvred herself with some fancy footwork and tactically lopped the ball into Jini Sivalingam who score 62 of Falcons final score, 65-49.

North East Blaze (60) def Casey Demons (50)

 

Blaze’s precision passing was back in full swing as they snatched a 6-goal lead in the first quarter to stay on top for the entirety of the match.

Casey and Blaze’s contest in the midcourt was riveting to watch as Ella Bayliss and Elle McDonald took on Shannon Blackman and Demi Woodlock. Both squads displayed some outstanding cross-court passes by driving hard and fast to make space.

Another star performance by Libby Nicol in Blaze’s goals saw her shoot at 91% goal accuracy and achieve her 287th goal of the season only six weeks in!

Division One

Hawks Netball (47) def Ariels (41)

 

Hawks held onto their 2nd spot for another week after securing a fourth quarter win against Ariels. A match so close, Hawks and Ariels demonstrated ferocity for a win, both starting as strong as each other to keep the scores tied at 11-goals at the end of the first quarter.

Strong pressure down the midcourt, Ariels capitalised on turnovers to score in the second quarter and take a 1-goal lead. This lead was short lived as Hawks turned the table to steal a 2-goal advantage in the third quarter.

Jasmine Ferguson’s midcourt coordination shined on court once again, highlighting her as a key contender for season MVP thus far.

The winner of this back and forth contest ultimately came down to a couple of fourth quarter turnovers in Ariels goal end which allowed Hawks to take control of the games pace and secure a satisfying 8-goal win.

Boroondara Express (53) def by Geelong Cougars (59)

 

A competition for control of the game, and 3rd place, Express and Cougars fought a tough contest that ultimately saw Geelong elevate their performance in the last quarter to take the win.

Boroondara had determination from the first centre and outplayed Cougars in the first half with pre-emptive passing down the court and strong defence.

A full game in Wing-Attack, Boroondara’s Maddison Wallmeyer played another impressive match that saw tactical passing into the goals and tight defence on her opponent, Hannah Kennedy, that created opportunities for her team to score.

Down by 4-goals at the end of the third quarter, Cougars stepped up the fight in the last quarter to take back a lead. Express seemed to fatigue slightly while Cougars kicked their intensity into overdrive. Cougars scored 21-goals to outscore Express in the fourth quarter and take an unexpected 6-goal win.

Melbourne University Lightning (40) def by Peninsula Waves (57)

 

Waves took out an impressive win against Lightning at the State Netball Hockey Centre this week to make it their third of the season.

Strategic passing between Waves’ Bronee Loy in Wing-Attack and Charlotte Howard in Goal-Attack in the first quarter gave them starting 3-goal lead.

Defender from Waves, Amelia Haugen, said that after their 21-goal loss to Hawks Netball last week, they were determined to rewrite their story for Round 6 with a win.

“We started off strong which is a nice change from last week,

“I think we kind of lost our confidence a bit last week so working as a team was definitely our game plan.”

Haugen explained that with a newer and younger 2019 squad, each week they are strengthening as a unit and last week’s loss allowed them to reflect on changes needed for improvement.

“Positivity and keeping that 100% work ethic all throughout the game was basically what we needed to do,

“The systems worked much better this week, we were able to trust each other and let it go.”

A lack of height against Lightning goaler, Louella Tomlinson, was an obstacle Waves had to overcome tonight according to Haugen. She said the defensive efforts of her team are versatile enough to combat any height difference.

“Height is something that is really, really hard, especially when you’ve got good feeders,

“Something that we work on is coming off the body rather than sticking right to them,

“When we’re able to do those quick swaps we’re able to confuse the ball, confuse the player and confuse the pass.”

With such an outstanding team performance, Haugen said it was hard to pin-point one star player of the night from her team but felt Ebony Dolan’s persistence in defence made a huge impact on the final result.

“Whoever came on, whoever came off did an absolutely amazing job,

“But I have to say Eb Dolan, our Goal-Keeper, absolutely killed it tonight. Her work ethic is amazing, week in and week out, and we couldn’t have done it without her.”

Next week Waves will compete against Wilson Storage Southern Saints in pursuit of another win.

“Going into that game with the absolute belief that we can do it, but the absolute belief we’ve got to work hard as well.”

City West Falcons (61) def Wilson Storage Southern Saints (31)

 

Saints yet to get a win on the board, unfortunately they couldn’t deliver this week as Falcons played a well-executed match to come out on top, looking for redemption after losing to Blaze last week.

Falcons came out with dominance to take a commanding 16-goal lead in the first quarter. Extending their lead to 30-points by the end of the match, Falcons almost doubled Casey’s score.

Falcons’ framework and consistent strategic play helped them see a win for the second time this year.

North East Blaze (50) def Casey Demons (37)

 

Riding the high from last week’s win against Falcons, Blaze entered their first quarter against Casey with confidence and accuracy to attain a 3-goal lead.

Strong pressure down the midcourt and consistency to capitalise on turnovers, Blaze retained control of the game. Sam Coppinger was a standout who moved exceptionally well in the midcourt to create passing opportunities and speed her way through the competition.

Despite Casey’s comeback intensity in the last quarter, Blaze maintained momentum to secure their place as top competitors of Division One.

19 & Under

Hawks Netball (53) def Ariels (38)

 

Ariels winning streak came to an end this week as Hawks came in hot to stir things up.

Hawks took a 5-goal lead in the first half to catch Ariels off guard. Leading the entire way, Hawks executed their passes with accuracy and positioned themselves in a way to block passes between Ariels.

Ariels player, Grace Kelly, reflected on her teams’ season thus far and what this first loss means.

“That was out first loss, which is a bit disappointing but I think it’s a really good way to show us what we need to improve on,” Kelly explained.

“We had a bit of a slow start and didn’t get to do a really great warm-up so we didn’t go on as intense as we would have liked to.”

Despite a second half intensity boost for Ariels, the strong start from the Hawks put them too far in front to be beat.

“Hawks really got on the court and went so hard like fire,” said Kelly.

“Our midcourters kept going, kept persisting but I think we weren’t as hard on our drives and didn’t get that front position we would have liked, they really just covered us,

“We did have a bit of a comeback, especially in our last quarter. We picked up our intensity but unfortunately it was a bit too hard to catch up to the score Hawks got at the start.”

Although losing in Round 6, Kelly excitedly expressed how enjoyable and successful the start to 2019 has been for Ariels.

“Our season has been so good lately,

“Our connections have been really nice and we’ve just really bonded as a team which is helping us to take away the wins.”

Kelly emphasised this loss will not keep her Ariels team down and they will just have to fight harder next week as they take on Melbourne University Lightning.

“I think this loss shown us what we need to work on which is all-rounders basically,

“We’ll just go back to basics and get our mojo back for next week.”

Boroondara Express (46) def by Geelong Cougars (58)

 

Boroondara came out strong to take an 8-goal advantage over Geelong in the first quarter.

Their lead was short lived as Cougars began to click in the second quarter, adding 22-goals and upping their defensive pressure to hold Express’s to 5. It was the second half that really saw Cougars switch gears and take back control and seize a 12-goal win over Boroondara.

Melbourne University Lightning (38) def by Peninsula Waves (57)

 

Lightning were full of confidence after an impressive performance last weeks, however Peninsula’s drive to redeem themselves after their loss to Hawks meant both were on the hunt for a win.

An evenly matched first quarter contest was short lived as Waves took off in the second quarter to shoot 14 goals and achieve an 82% goal accuracy between Jasmine Mackie and Georgia Hernan. Not missing a goal in the third quarter, Waves sustained their organised movements and outplayed Lightning in the midcourt to seize a 19-goal win.

City West Falcons (48) drew Wilson Storage Southern Saints (48)

 

A match too good to miss, Falcons and Saints were not only chasing a win but were chasing each other to do so. Saints finally seeing a win last week were keen to get one more while City West wanted to solidify their place in the top 4.

Goal-for-goal, Saints managed to secure a 1-goal lead in the first quarter that they then extended to 2 in the second quarter. Falcons strong defence by Melissa Oloamanu saw them take a lead back, especially after an impressive intercept.

Saints ability to create turnovers and put consistent pressure over the ball forced falcons to rush their passes. One team would break away then the other would chase them right back to an equal score

Tied up at 37-all going into the last quarter, the close contest continued through to the final seconds where Falcons, who trailed by 1-point, shot on the siren to leave a draw as the end result.

North East Blaze (56) def Casey Demons (47)

 

Blaze emerged to record a convincing 56-47 win against Casey who are yet to obtain a victory. Increasing their lead each quarter a last quarter high gave Blaze a 9-goal win.

A steady match from Blaze allowed them to secure a well-earned win that displayed consistent teamwork across the court.

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Written by Amellia Wood