Sunshine Coast Lightning’s Australian Netball Championship side recently went on a competitive regional tour as part of the Born to Shine series.
The four-game tournament, held across Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Toowoomba, provided a development opportunity for players in the inaugural Lightning ANC side, playing against the QLD Sapphires, QLD Suns Men’s open side and the AusPacific team.
The Christine Voge-led side partook in the mini-series after state border closures forced the cancellation of the ANC Competition for a second consecutive year.
The Coach gave us a player-by-player review of their performance throughout the series – including that of Lightning’s 2021 Training Partners Sienna Allen, Maddie Hinchliffe and Annie Lawrie.
Player Review (in alphabetical order):
Sienna’s determination, the strength of her height and her strong front defensive position was crucial each time she took the court. We saw great improvement in her ability to work in partnership with her defensive teammates, greater confidence to attack the ball outside the circle and transition the ball into attack throughout the week.
It was great to see the QLD 19/U representative able to put her dogged defensive style out on court during the week. Ash worked hard to limit any shooter’s volume with a strong front position and elevation to the high ball. She showed improvements in both driving ball out of their attack and in her decision making under pressure.
Bridie moved between GK and GD in our first game with an excellent work rate, clear communication with her teammates and a strong focus on attacking the intercept. Bridie suffered a concussion in our first match and unfortunately was ruled out for the rest of the week, although she continue to play an important off court role with the team.
Jada used her speed and agility to be a consistent option for the team in the WA and C roles throughout the series. Jada developed connections with her attacking teammates over the week to ensure she attacked the circle edge with speed and control. Jada’s ability to quickly transition into defence and create turnover opportunities was an asset to the group.
Sarah came in as a training partner role with the team and played in 3 games during the week. The young centre court displayed her exceptional speed and strength especially on the first and second on the centre pass. Sarah improved over the matches in her feeding and passing decision making, along with her awareness to transition quickly into defence.
Maddie’s experience and leadership skills were a great asset to the team. Her ability across the games to offer repeated 1v1 defensive effort resulted in turnover ball for her and teammates around her. Maddie adjusted and improved her game at Centre over the week, by delivering full game efforts, with effective circle edge leads and safe feeding to the team shooters.
Annie played GA and GS across the week with a strong focus on consistent workrate on centre pass strategy and circle entry. Her ability to connect with the shooter-to-shooter pass and deliver the sweeping cuts into the circle were great improvements across the week.
Annika spent the week exploring a new position at this level, increasing her shooting volume with each match. Her improved understanding and ability to mixed up her starting position and the type of holds was a key focus and something she achieved over the week.
Chloe had the ability across the week to play confidently across all three centre court positions with speed, control and defensive pressure. Chloe offered the team game in, game out groundwork and hustle with her defensive pressure and assisted with setting the intensity and standards for the group.
The youngest defender in the group, Lily made her presence known on court and transitioned seamlessly into the team’s defensive structure. During the week Lily also spent time working on and improving her understanding in the new WD position and executing the consistent first ball contest work.
Experienced shooter Amy Sommerville slotted nicely into the Lightning side with her ability to provide great attacking options and set up others around her. Her ability to go to the post and create screening options with her shooting combinations was improved over the team’s campaign.
Dani brought to the team a great ability to work 1v1 against her opposition to limit their ability on court. Dani progressed through the week with her new defensive partners to enhance her 1v1 and develop her spilt circle defence strategy. Dani additionally improved her connections and ability to transition to attack, consistently bringing the ball all the way to the transverse line.
Lia joined us at a training partner and was given opportunities to play in the Lightning and Pacific team line ups. These opportunities saw Lia improve her defensive ability to dictate and deny her opposition to circle edge and try to create turnovers early on in oppositions attacking play.