By Matt Fotia
The Outer East Under 15 Netball side have qualified for the next stage of the Netball Victoria Association Championships after they finished second in Central East Group Two on the weekend.
Coached by Monbulk’s Stephanie Puopolo the Under 15 side won it’s first seven games in the round robin tournament, with matches cut down to two eight minute halves. Big wins over fourth placed MENA (12-5), fifth placed Frankston (12-4) and the third placed Whitehorse (9-5) were just an example of the girls overall impressive performance.
Their only loss came against Chelsea and District in the last round of the day, with the Outer East going down by two goals 12-14. The game saw the best defensive side in Group Two – the Outer East pitted against the number one attack in Chelsea and District.
The Outer East conceded just 55 goals across their eight games, with only Caulfield (10) and Chelsea and District (14) able to break double figures.
After a strong start to the day the Under 17 side finished in fourth place and will unfortunately not progress any further. They showed the ability to match it with the best sides throughout the day, losing a heart stopper to the undefeated MENA by just one goal(10-11). They also played out two other one goal games – wins over Whitehorse(11-10) and Doncaster(12-11).
Disappointing losses to Richmond and Caulfield in the last two matches left the girls with a 3-3 record.
Netball Development Manager Greg Heinrich was proud of all the girls who represented the Outer East on Sunday.
“It was exciting to see the success of both sides across the day.”
“The 17’s, despite not progressing played a strong brand of netball – which is synonymous with the Outer East- and represented the league very well,”
“The Under 15’s performance is a credit to the girls, to Steph’s coaching and to her ability to create a great team vibe after minimal training opportunities,”
“It also shows the genuine depth of all junior netball across the Outer East competition.”
The Under 15 girls next stage will be played on the 23rd of June in Frankston in conjunction with the Open Association side. The Under 13 side will take part in their association championships on the 16th of June.