It is time for Oamaru schools to see where their netball teams rank.
The annual South Island secondary schools tournament starts in Dunedin on Monday, and both Waitaki Girls’ High School and St Kevin’s College are in the A grade competition.
Waitaki Girls’ has high hopes of making the top 16 at the massive tournament, and will need to win two of its three pool games to make the cut.
Rock star Taneisha Fifita, who has just banked another memorable experience while playing for the Southern Steel at the Super Club tournament, is Waitaki’s key at either end.
Spark plug Molly Hurst will be asked to play a big role throughout the court, defender Kira Mortimer is a big improver, and utility India McLay can defend, shoot and be used as a tall option at centre.
Waitaki plays Kaiapoi High School and Wakatipu High School on the opening day, and has a tough clash with perennial power Villa Maria on Tuesday before post-section play.
The Waitakians warmed up for the tournament with two good wins at the weekend, over Ashburton College and Craighead Diocesan, before playing in the school’s annual past v present game on Tuesday night, beating the “oldies” 55-43.
St Kevin’s is buoyant after finishing fifth at the Otago schools tournament, and placing third in the North Otago premier competition.
The school leans on its six seniors, led by the talented Molly Kay, to set the standard.
The likes of Laura Preston, Hannah Cunningham and Gemma Dowling should also feature strongly for St Kevin’s, which plays Christchurch Girls’ High School and Taieri College on Monday, and South Otago High School on Tuesday.
The South Island secondary schools netball tournament, in its 56th year, features 80-plus teams across three grades and more than 1200 players, coaches, managers and umpires.