Surrey Storm suffered defeat at the hands of Wasps Netball in the fourth round of the Vitality Netball Superleague.
It was a confident start for the home squad, returning to the Sports Park arena off the back of a momentous win over Team Bath earlier in the week.
With the Tom Reseigh Trophy up for grabs, Surrey Storm’s Sigi Burger was first to start off the scoring for the home side, making way for what was to be a very close quarter.
The was ball moved end to end by both teams, full of pace and intention. Storm placed themselves firmly in the driving seat, really taking the game to the defending Superleague Champions. The first quarter ended all square at 16 points a-piece.
Storm continued to get the ball into the hands of their shooting pair Rhea Dixon and Burger, who made the tough shots look effortless from mid to long range in the circle.
It remained close throughout Q2, with the team down by five at the half (29 – 34) and plenty of positives to take with them.
However, it was the third quarter that saw the momentum shift in Wasps’ favour, as they began to pull away with a decisive lead.
Despite a persistent defensive effort from the starting trio Katie Hughes (c), Lorraine Kowalewska and Shadine Van Der Merwe to keep the ball away from Wasps Rachel Dunn, it was not to be as the visiting team orchestrated to a 10-point lead by the end of Q3.
The final quarter left Surrey Storm with plenty of work to do. Despite some impressive long shots from Laura Morton and relentless defence from Lorraine Kowalewska, it proved too much for the girls in blue and they had to settle for defeat and watch the Tom Reseigh Trophy return to Coventry.
Shadine Van Der Merwe walked away from her first home game for Surrey Storm as Player of the Match as she dominated in her defensive role tonight. Speaking to her after the game she said, “it’s good to be back and wearing the duck-egg blue dress. Thank you to the fans and we’ll be back stronger.”
Two-time Vitality Netball Superleague champions Surrey Storm are ready to rise in 2019!
Storm finished seventh in 2018 and are now determined to rise together as a team and challenge at the top end of the table once again.
Ahead of the season, we caught up with Yasmin Parsons and Lorraine Kowalewska to get their thoughts on the team’s strengths and working with Mikki Austin.
How excited and ready are you for the new season?
Yasmin: Definitely ready! Last year with the Commonwealths in between, we started and finished later so it’s been quite a tight turnaround this time so I’m definitely ready and really looking forward to it. I know our team has had a few changes as well so it’ll be good to put that out onto court and see what we’re made of.
Lorraine: Just super excited for the season! With the new faces and some of the other team members we’ve had for a while, just solidifying those combinations should be good.
What are Storm’s main strengths?
Lorraine: Family – we’re a big Storm family, we do really support each other in whatever we’re doing and we try and be there for each other as much as we can.
Yasmin: If things aren’t going quite right in the game or I know we’ve had a few friendlies, we really do back each other. Obviously in the game, you’re going to have dips but we really do come together. We’re quite united as a front and I know Mikki’s trying to get the theme of us rising as we’ve had a few changes and I think it’s about time that Storm picked itself up. We’ve gone from winning the Vitality Netball Superleague to then finishing seventh in 2018 so it is about us rising together. I think with the group of girls we’ve got this year, we’re more than able to do that.
What are your expectations and aims for 2019?
Yasmin: I think everyone’s expectation is to be in the top four and I think our aim is definitely to get there as well. With the new players, we also want to form bonds. Doing better than last season is one of our main targets too.
What’s Mikki Austin like as Storm Director of Netball?
Lorraine: She’s very tactical and technical and she pushes us hard. I think she will admit that she’s a young Director of Netball but I think whatever she doesn’t know, she’ll work hard to learn it or get experience from other people. She knows what she wants out of the franchise and is trying really hard to ensure that she implements that. It might not happen this year but I really believe that she is looking to the future in terms of pushing Storm to rise.
You can get tickets to watch all 10 teams in action at the Super 10 season opener here.