Words by Jordan Witte
Photos by Claire Macuz
On to the next one.
The representative squads for the Metro Jets walked away from H. E. Parker Reserve in Heathmont on Sunday afternoon with their heads held high and plenty of lessons under their belt.
The Jets sent five squads to the Yarra Valley Ariels VCNA Tournament, with one U17 team, two U15 teams and two U13 teams in attendance.
Considering that Metro is a single club, playing at Parkville Netball Association, and their competition on the day were squads assembled of the best of the best from other associations across Victoria, the Jets and all who represented them on the day can take away plenty of positives from the results.
Metro’s wealth of talented players across all levels served them well, with Premier Division players like Division 5’s Camryn Edwards, Hannah Dale and Tessa Schurmann playing pivotal roles in the 17s squad.
Division 6’s Scarlett Padden and Georgia Tymms repped the top 15s & the 17s respectively, while the Jets added another small slice of history to their already heaped pile, sending Tristan Comans as an U15 representative.
The Jets’ U17 Tuesday night squads were well-represented, with Darja Bilyanska, Pauline Genreau, Ella Buck, Chanel Romeo, Alix Colafella, Bela Hartman and Charlotte Caldow just some of the names in attendance to pull on the blue and red dresses.
At the younger levels, Amelia Fortunaso-McKay continued her stellar run for the Jets at major tournaments, while Bella Cavallo and Georgia Padden joined up-and-comers like Katia Dossis and Liliana Morgan.
U17 Reserves Level
Boasting Premier Division talent in Camryn Edwards, Georgia Tymms, Tessa Schurmann and Hannah Dale, the 17s representative squad could’ve been forgiven for thinking they’d be in for an easy day after a strong win against Yarra Blue. They would get just more one win for the remainder of the day, taking down Yarra Gold, but losing to MENA, Valley 2, Frankston & SEFNL, all strong representative association squads.
Tymms and Schurmann had great days in the midcourt, while Edwards – captaining the squad – showed her class to push through against strong representative defenders. Hannah Dale battled through illness to play a pivotal defensive role. The squad’s Parkville U17s – Darja Bilyanska, Pauline Genreau, Alix Colafella, Chanel Romeo, Ella Buck & Holly Pugliese – contributed strongly across the full, exhausting day. Buck and Colafella toiled away on defenders shading them for experience and height, while Genreau will take a full day’s midcourt experience away from the games.
Bilyanska brought her usual no-fuss passing talent, and Romeo and Pugliese combined well a number of times, oftentimes outplaying representative defenders with smart movement in the circle.
Displaying their ability to persevere through adversity, the Jets took two wins from extremely talented representative squads. The fantastic results will hopefully have a flow-on effect to their Tuesday night competitions.
U15 Open Level
Playing in the highest 15s competition available at the VCNA tournament, and thus facing the most talented rep squads from the region, the U15-1s put up a fight in every game they played.
With junior stars Bela Hartman, Aimee Harris, Charlotte Caldow, Reese Willder, Bec Stingel and Alicia Lupone suiting up, alongside Premier Division players Scarlett Padden and Tristan Comans, there was talent on every line for the Jets.
Paige Comans had her first run in Metro colors, and the versatile youngster played a handy role in all thirds of the court.
Harris enjoyed a productive day in the attacking third; as did Padden, who was tried in centre-court roles to give the Jets something different, while the male Comans’ learning experience continued, as he was thrust into playing on representative goalers.
The Jets were arguably in every game they played, but ultimately couldn’t make it over the line at crucial moments. The signs are immensely positive for the young Jets going forward, as with a bit of luck or some extra pressure, the results might’ve been very different.
Although the squad wasn’t able to secure a win on the day, the experience of playing against quality opposition will serve them well as they continue to develop.
U15 Reserve B Level
Coached by Salv Lupone and Lee Harris, the second tier of U15 representative squad sent by Metro had much the same luck as their age-group counterparts, falling to losses in each of their 7 games. With the focus aimed at development for most of the first- and second-year U15 representatives, the squad toiled hard, outsized in the majority of their matches.
Georgia Padden continued her rapid rise with a productive day across the court, while Katia Dossis and Liliana Morgan showed their talents and stamped their names as players to watch in future. Dossis and Morgan in particular impressed, with versatility and pressure key parts of their games as they did their best to quell strong offensive pressure from their opponents.
Bella Cavallo and Zoe Rowan-Paul did their utmost to up the scoring rate for the Jets, while Amelia McKay blunted attacks left and right in goal-keeper. Rowan-Paul suffered an ankle injury late in the day against Sunbury, which saw her take no further part in the tournament.
Ella Parker, Ella Zaccari and Eloise Barnwell rounded out the squad on a competitive, if not frustrating day for the Jets, who will take valuable experience back to their competitions at Parkville, seeking to implement new skills.
U13 Open & U13 Reserve B Levels
At the U13 level, Metro enjoyed a win in the Open division, defeating Moomba Park in the final game of the day. The other 13s squad wasn’t so lucky, going winless at Heathmont. At such an early age, however, each representative of the 13s squad isn’t really there for glory, which is reflected in the absence of finals. The focus is more on participation, with each girl awarded a medal for attending the tournament.
Far more important again, is the experience Metro’s youngest representative players will draw from being able to play against good sides playing cohesive netball. They will doubtless improve as a result of attending the tournament, learning something, and having a fun day playing outside their comfort zone.
Note: If you would like to buy a copy of any of the photos posted here, without the pesky watermark, please let us know by putting a comment on our Instagram (@metrorevellersnetball).