LAVINGTON coach Aleisha Pendergast yesterday said a “terrific” culture was driving the club’s push to have all four teams to be the first into the O and M netball grand finals.
The club’s netballers will contest the major semi-finals in all grades, — the A and C grade as minor premiers.
Pendergast said the lower grades had been improving in recent years.
“Lavi has been pretty consistent and enjoyed some success in the lower grades,” she said.
“But there is a terrific culture here and the coaches and support staff have worked tirelessly.
“There is also a core group of players at the club spread through the grades that has provided stability.
“Now some unbelievably talented young girls are emerging.”
The Panthers take on Wodonga in A Grade at Bunton Park and Pendergast is under no illusions about the task.
They prevailed by three goals two weeks ago in the last home-and-away game of season against the Bulldogs to earn a week’s rest.
“Wodonga were tough and I suspected we might have to play them again this week — so there are no surprises,” Pendergast said.
“We match up really well and have a lot of respect for them.
“We often play them in practice matches because they are such a great benchmark — if you are competitive against Wodonga you are somewhere around the mark and they bring out the best in us.”
Pendergast downplayed their defensive height advantage provided by two former state league players.
“We have some tall girls at the back who have been terrific all year,” she said.
“They are a result of local talent and some luck.
“Sarah Meredith is only 22 but has won four best and fairests and Brooke Spinelli is outstanding.
“And this year we have had Kate Yensch, who started here as a 15-year-old, return from uni in Melbourne and playing state league.
“And this year Rhiannon Dolahenty walked through the gates — she travels from Wagga to train and play and is another former state league player.”