Missing two key players, the Division 4 Metro Jets have fallen short of winning their second game in a row, suffering a 24-30 defeat at the hands of Melbourne Cricket Club.
The coaching staff was left to rue patches of inconsistency throughout the game, where mistakes mounted and drive through the court was lost.
Playing against a physical MCC side, the Jets matched the older side for run, but lamented the absence of goaler Heidi Macuz and midcourter Gabby Bassi, as the side struggled to adapt to new players.
Returning midcourter Rebecca Francis was a highlight, with the springy wing defense showcasing her defensive instincts with several crucial intercepts.
“Against such a physical, tall team, it’s nice to have a player who’s capable of getting a hand in for intercepts like [Bec] did tonight,” said coach Megg Ryan.
Francis was joined in the midcourt by Alanna Macuz, who managed to impact the game despite MCC’s game plan being centred on taking away the opposing wing attack’s control of the ball.
The 19-year-old midcourter has acquitted herself impressively at a higher division so far this season despite being the focus of opposing defensive game plans.
The team welcomed country star Paynton Jolliffe for her first game of the season, in place of the missing Macuz.
Jolliffe showed glimpses of brilliance, shooting the ball well and moving impressively throughout the goal third, but is ultimately a work in progress for the Div 4 coaching staff.
“I think she struggled a little bit adapting to a new game style, given that it’s her first game with the side,” said injured wing attack and co-coach Claire Macuz.
“She clearly has immense talent. She shot quite well when she got the opportunity. It’s going to take time for her to get used to us and for us to get used to her, but she is clearly a very, very good player and we’re looking forward to how well she’ll fit in when she’s settled in”, said Ryan.
Mikayla Johnston-Bailey, fresh off a fantastic performance in Round 1, backed up her good start to the season. The giant goalkeeper was given a challenge, playing on a different, more agile style of goal shooter, but managed to contain her player.
The squad will welcome back Bassi and the youngest Macuz next week for their game against Banyule.