MACCABI AJAX Netball Club is taking giant strides in 2019. Nine of its 11 junior and senior teams featured in season 1 semifinals, seven played in grand finals, and three became premiers.
It was the club’s most successful season yet, with the Maccabi Sapphires women’s Division 1 team being a particularly shining light.
Captained by centre Amanda Terry, the team moved from the Parkville to the highly-competitive Waverley Night Netball Association competition in search of a new challenge, but found themselves in deep water early on after losing four of their first five games.
Showing plenty of spirit and determination, the team began to gel and won 10 straight games to finish third, before stepping up to thrash the Monash Diamonds in the semis by 33-16, and win the decider 36-23 against the Red Frogs.
Sapphires defenders Kate Lustig, Alexandra Krantz and Limor Reiss worked tirelessly together all season to make their team the second hardest to score against, while Terry and fellow mid-court players Vanessa Mrocki, Lainie Bejer and Amy Rockman distributed the ball with purpose and control.
Up front, the combination of Timna Katranski, and grand final MVP Arianna Hearst, achieved an impressive shooting accuracy average of 86 per cent.
The club also enjoyed success in Waverley in open Division 2, with the Maccabi Emeralds finishing top of the ladder, and going on to win their grand final 31-25 against the Pink Ladies, assisted by an MVP performance by Hayley Mrocki, who also plays for the Maccabi Bullets, who were runners-up in the Caulfield District Netball Association U25 Division 1 competition.
Vanessa Mrocki, as a player for the Sapphires and the Emeralds, had twice as many reasons to
The terrific results come on the back of a new focus by the club on the Waverley competition to create pathways for its top juniors to gain experience in senior, or open, netball.
The club’s junior teams also excelled this season in Caulfield District, with the Maccabi Hurricanes winning their U17 Division 4 grand final 28-12 against the Carnegie All Stars, finishing their season undefeated.
The Maccabi Cyclones (U17 Div 3), Thunder (U13 Div 5) and Meteors (U13 Div 7) all finished runners-up.
The club is striving to continue to offer an inclusive and supportive environment where players can develop and thrive.