SA nets a stunning double at national titles

South Australia's young netballers again showed the strength of the SASI and Netball SA programs with gold medals in each of the recent 19 and under and 17 and under championships at the Queensland Netball Centre - the 17s winning their fourth title in a row.

SOUTH Australia's highly respected elite junior netball program again was on show when the 19 and under and 17 and under teams stood tall to win their respective grand finals at the National Netball Championships at the Queensland Netball Centre.

Urged on by fanatic supporters and a sea of red the SA teams played a spirited brand of netball to deliver under the national spotlight.

SA's 17s won their fourth title in a row when they beat New South Wales 35-30 in the final. They lost to NSW in the opening round, 39-31, but kept their winning run from there, accounting for Western Australia in the knockout semi-final, 37-26.

The 19s produced a devastating grand final to crush New South Wales 49-20 after losing to the Blues in round three, 27-25, and to Queensland 42-37 in round four. SA edged out Queensland in the semi-final 37-35 before its big win in the final, although NSW was weakened by the loss of key player Annie Miller who suffered an injury (knee?) in a previous game.

The most recent national title for the SA 19s was in 2013. The only previous times the 17s and 19s had won the double in the same year was in 1996 and 1997.

Tyler Orr (19s) and Georgie Horjus (17s) showed their class and leadership to win  the respective medals for best on court.

SASI Head Coach and national selection panel member Jenny Borlase said the SA results were excellent.

"The SASI athletes have been preparing for the nationals since October 2018 and their condition enabled them to perform at the level needed," Borlase said.

"Both SA teams showed a lot of depth and variety within the teams. They also  showed (their) ability to respond during the week according to the teams and players they came up against.

"Both teams were coached very well. The general comment from outside the teams was that the 17s had good structure on court, while the 19s showed strength in the mid court and an ability to apply defensive pressure all down the court.''

The victorious SA teams consisted of a mix of SASI athletes and state development squad members.

The 19s team was Jordyn Adams, Nyah Allen, Helene Altmann, Lucy Austin, Chelsea Blackman (co-captain), Georgia Dent, Lauren Frew, Ivy-Rose Hughes, Tyler Orr (co-captain), Molly Watson, Olivia Watts and Tayla Williams. Coach was Kirsty-Leonard Down.

The 17s team was represented by Amelia Anderson, Krystal Anderson-Ives, Casey Bernhardt, Phoebe Bonner, Darcie Brown, Sophie Casey, Tahlia Dnistrjanski (co-captain), Jessie Grenvold, Kimberley Hearnden, Georgie Horjus (co-captain), Rachel Redden and Abbey Siviour and was coached by Lee-Anne Cummins.

Borlase also attended the championship in her SASI position and that as a coach on the selection panel to assess players capable of making national junior teams.

"It was an honour to be on the panel and I really enjoyed the opportunity," Borlase said.

National team selections were expected to be announced soon.

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