SSN Preseason Scouting Notes: Mavericks vs Lightning

SATURDAY night saw history made out at the Waverley Netball Centre, as the Melbourne Mavericks took to the court for the first time, facing the Sunshine Coast Lightning in a preseason friendly.

Unfortunately the match had to be called off in the second term after star Maverick Sasha Glasgow suffered a sickening lower leg fracture, but before that there was plenty to learn about both sides ahead of the Team Girls Cup and the 2024 season.

Read along for a team by team synopsis of the learnings and take aways from the match.

Starting Sevens

Melbourne Mavericks                  

GS: Sasha Glasgow                         
GA: Eleanor Cardwell                    
WA: Maisie Nankivell                    
C: Molly Jovic                                  
WD: Amy Parmenter                     
GD: Kim Jenner                               
GK: Lauren Moore                          

Other players used: Gabby Sinclair, Olivia Lewis, Tayla Fraser

Sunshine Coast Lightning

GS: Reilley Batcheldor
GA: Cara Koenen
WA: Liz Watson
C: Mahalia Cassidy
WD: Ava Black
GD: Courtney Bruce
GK: Ash Ervin

Other players used: Leesa Mi Mi, Steph Fretwell, Annie Miller, Jada Delany, Baylee Boyd

Match Notes

Melbourne Mavericks   

  • The Mavericks were also not afraid to go backwards to go forwards on first phase, also utilising the goal defence if that is the best option.
  • The Mavericks’ defensive cohort is very cohesive already, with Amy Parmenter, Kim Jenner and Lauren Moore working really well together already.
  • Speaking of the defenders, early in the match the Mavericks defenders were able to pick up in play turnovers, while the Lightning had to wait for Mavericks to miss a shot and the ball to go out to actually get a turnover.
  • Moore spent some time in wing defence, but looked a bit out of place in the role and is likely to have better success at either goal defence or goal keeper than wing defence.
  • Coach Tracey Neville has previously said she built the team around pre existing partnerships, and that was clear on Saturday night. Out on court the Mavericks do not look like a brand new team at all.
  • Moving through to the shooters, and it looks like Gabby Sinclair will be that impact Super Shot shooter, but that may change now that Glasgow is injured. Although Sinclair is normally a goal attack, she did not look out of place at goal shooter and had a strong showing there thanks to her speed and strong work at the base.

Sunshine Coast Lightning

  • Much like the Mavericks, the Lightning were also not afraid to go backwards to go forwards on first phase, also utilising the goal defence if that is the best option.
  • Ash Ervin started the match at goal keeper, and looked right at home in the role, and despite spending most of her time at goal defence last season do not be surprised if she spends more time at keeper with Courtney Bruce out at goal defence.
  • Speaking of Bruce, the Aussie defender appears to have slotted in beautifully at the Lightning, and will provide a huge boost to the team. One thing that was really evident on Saturday night was how much talking Bruce was doing out on court, which will be another underrated boost she will provide to the team.
  • Fellow new face Liz Watson will unsurprisingly also be a huge boost for the side this season, and her biggest asset that she will bring to the team is her speed through mid court.
  • Leesa Mi Mi also got her first run on court in Lightning gear, and her speed was particularly noticeable, but may have a tough battle to get some court time.
  • The battle for the starting shooting spots will be intriguing for the Lightning this season. Reilley Batcheldor has slotted back on court seamlessly, and will give Cara Koenen and Steph Fretwell a run for their money in terms of court time.

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