Web_xjNetballState1_4113GIPPSLAND’S open netball team has taken out the 2013 V/Line State Titles, held over the weekend at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne.Teams from Victoria’s 19 regions came together to compete in the Open, 17 and Under, 15 and Under and All Abilities divisions at the annual competition.

The Gippsland team, which was by made up of players purely from South Gippsland, was crowned the champions of the tournament after two days of competition.  The Open section saw nine regions entered, with Gippsland playing all eight opponents in matches which consisted of two 10-minute halves.  Coach of the Gippsland team, Cath Chester of Foster said the win was a fantastic achievement.  “It was a sensational effort by the girls,” Cath said.  “You have to end up in the top four to play finals. “On Saturday we won four out of our six games, and Sunday we won one and drew another to finish third on the ladder. “In the semi-final over Western region, we finished in a draw, so we played an extra eight minutes which was quite exciting and we beat them by six in the end, 23 to 17.  “Then we played Dandenong Valley in the grand final and they had beaten us the day before 21 to nine, and we turned it around and beat them 11 to 10 in the final which was amazing.”

The Gippsland side was made up of seven players coming from within the Alberton League, while the remaining three came from local Gippsland League sides Wonthaggi Power and Leongatha.  “Selection started in August; we had probably had three training runs together but the girls all knew each other fairly well,” Cath said.  Korumburra-Bena’s premiership winning coach and Alberton League Best and Fairest winner Christie Hillberg was named among a State All-Star team named after the tournament.  The V/Line State Titles is the last of the region’s competitive netball until the Regional State League gets underway.