A handful of Orrvale Primary School netball players can lay claim to being one of the best primary school teams in Victoria.
Last Friday the team travelled to the Waverley Netball Centre for a final round-robin day in the School Sport Victoria competition and ended up being defeated in the grand final by a metro school.
More than 4000 teams compete in the popular competition, with Orrvale advancing following a preliminary round where it defeated teams in the region including Guthrie St, St Brendan’s and Grahamvale primary schools.
Then moving on to the next section Orrvale again showed its prowess in Benalla, crowned the best of the Hume Region.
Moving forward and continuing training once a week, the team made the grand final day to achieve the most impressive ranking that the school has had.
Coach Alicia Stovell said the school was rapt with the girls’ performances.
‘‘They were excited, because no-one could come down because they had school sports they couldn’t spare a teacher,’’ she said.
‘‘But they were ringing all through the day for results and it got them a flag for the school.’’
Stovell was already an experienced coach of five members of the side who she leads during Saturday competition.
With another three added following tryouts at the school, Stovell said they formed a competitive outfit.
‘‘There were five girls that I’ve coached for five or six years, another three I’ve never coached, but they were all quite happy to get through and were a strong little team,’’ she said.
Having to leave at 5.30am to make it to Waverley in time, Stovell said the side was exhausted by the time the grand final approached.
Three goals down at half-time of the 24-minute game and never able to move back in front, Stovell said the girls recognised their fantastic achievement.
‘‘They were very excited and came away with a medal,’’ she said.
‘‘Two of them are grade fives so they’ve got another chance next year with a different team, but there were five in grade six who are all like best friends, so it’s great for them to finish off on a high.’’