Lavington Panthers' Erin Haberecht on learning curve to the top

Erin Haberecht says her first year in A-grade has been a steep learning curve.

Erin Haberecht says her first year in A-grade has been a steep learning curve.

ERIN Haberecht is Ovens and Murray netball’s latest rising star.

But the unassuming Lavington goalshooter said the nomination came as a complete shock as she continued on the steep learning curve of A-grade netball.

Haberecht, 19, hasn’t missed a game as the only new face added to the defending premiers’ line-up at the start of the year.

She replaced overseas-bound Haylee Penny in the starting seven and admitted there were some nerves ahead of her first game.

“I was feeling the pressure,” she said.

“These girls were the defending champions, there were just so many good netballers in the team.

“But almost as soon as we walked on court against Wodonga I felt liked I belonged, they made me feel part of the team.”

Haberecht said her first season had been made easier by goal circle partner Sarah Senini and coach Brooke Spinelli.

“They have guided me, helped me, just been there really,” she said.

“Sarah is like the queen of netball — she has certainly made me a better netballer and I’ve learned to keep my eyes on the ball when it’s in her hands.”

The 186-centimetre shooter joins fellow teenage A-grade stars Jacqui Newton (North Albury) and Jane Cook (Wodonga) as a rising star nomination.

But the former Xavier High student is something of a veteran at Lavington, have taken the step from Saturday morning netball at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre to “Panther Park” at just 14.

Haberecht has played finals in all six years at the club and been a grand finalist in three of those, but is yet to taste victory.

“Last year was the biggest disappointment,” she said.

“The scores were all locked up in the B-grade final against North Albury and their shooter had the ball, but was out near the edge of the circle with the siren about to go.

“We were all getting pumped to play extra time but from the moment it left her hand it never looked like missing and I just slumped to the ground.”

Haberecht said the defending premiers had taken the lesson from a mid-year slump that saw them go from undefeated to losing three in a row.

“We were two games clear and lost against Yarra and Wodonga — the best two opposition — but it was the game in between against Corowa (-Rutherglen) that it hit us that we weren’t putting it together — they blitzed the first quarter and we then had to play catch-up,” she said.

“But Brooke wanted us to go back to basics, focus on beating your opponent.

“I probably had my best game against Jacqui Newton at North Albury, which is a pretty tough contest.”