CATHERINE McAuley College (CMC) is in celebration mode after its year-10 girls netball side was crowned School Sport Victoria champions.
The Bendigo school defeated Catholic College Sale (CCS) 21-16 in Monday's grand final at Waverley Netball Centre, to emerge undefeated through the finals round.
CMC, which was coached by Elmore and North Central region netball identity Kris Rosaia, and CCS set up an all-country school grand final by eliminating Melbourne-based sides in their respective semi-finals.
Rosaia described a see-sawing grand final as 'a great tussle with fabulous play from both teams'.
Scores were tied at quarter time, with CMC behind by a single goal at half-time.
"At this break the CMC players were reminded to keep the pressure on across the court and lift their intensity and be consistently accountable," Rosaia said.
"All players stepped up to the challenge and followed the instructions with precision.
"This brilliant team work resulted in court dominance and the girls came home with the championship."
Earlier, CMC set up its grand final berth with a draw in its opening pool match against Maribyrnong Secondary College 25-25, and solid wins over Viewbank 39-9 and Rowville 29-15.
These led to a semi-final confrontation against Mentone Grammar, in which 'accurate shooting and consistent defensive pressure down the whole court' were the hallmarks of a 34-18 win.
Rosaia said the team was made to work particularly hard in its opening match against Maribyrnong, after they claimed a one-goal lead at quarter time and consolidated the margin through to the three-quarter time.
"Maribyrnong came out after the three-quarter time break with a higher intensity and forced a few errors by our team. ," she said.
"They capitalised on these and managed to get back in the game.
"In the dying seconds Maribyrnong drew level in the last play of the match and as a result the game finished in a draw at 25 goals apiece."
The championship team comprised Carissa Brook, Abbey Clohesy, Ellie Donnellon, Deanna Duane, Olivia Erwin, Piper Dunlop, Tiahna Leader, Nikita Matthews, Meg McCarthy and Tahlee O'Keefe.
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