VICTORIAN Netball League action began in Melbourne on Wednesday, with several Bendigo players on court for the 2014 season.
In the Championship division, reigning premiers City West Falcons made a winning start to their title defence by defeating VU Western Lightning 52-34.
Former Sandhurst defender Chloe Watson played in wing defence for the victors, while Bendigo Football Netball League board member Melissa Ryan was on the opposing bench as assistant coach.
Watson is in Victoria's 21- and-under team and heads to Adelaide next month for the national carnival.
In division one, Brianna Dalrymple-Monro and Maddie Stewart lined up for Lightning against the Falcons in a see-sawing match that ended in a 36-36 draw.
Stewart, last year's BFNL Rising Star from Gisborne, held down wing defence and Dalrymple-Monro, who has left Sandhurst to join Strath Storm this season, came off the bench into wing attack at quarter time and ran the game out in centre.
There was local rivalry in the 19-and-under game featuring Sandhurst mid-courter Brooke Bolton (Falcons) and Kangaroo Flat defender Monica Wellington (Lightning). Falcons led at every change to win 37-31.
Castlemaine young gun Chelsea Sartori has been training with VNL team Ballarat Pride, while Strath Storm teen Zoe Davies is part of the City West Falcons development squad.