Shooting sisterhood shines on
THE shooting sisterhood at the Sunshine Coast is sticking together with the triple threat of Stephanie Wood, Peace Proscovia and Cara Koenen all recommitting to the Lightning for the 2020 Super Netball season.
The sharpshooting trio have helped guide the Lightning to second on the ladder with just two rounds remaining in the 2019 regular season, with the Sunshine Coast poised to mount a spirited defence of their Super Netball title.
The departure of Australian Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett was meant to leave a big hole in the Lighting shooting circle but the experience of Ugandan star Proscovia and the breakout campaign for Townsville product Koenen has ensured the Sunshine Coast juggernaut has relentlessly rolled on.
The Lightning take on the third-placed Vixens in Melbourne on Sunday and a Sunshine Coast victory could secure a top-two finish and all-important double chance in the finals.
So contract extension celebrations have been put on hold.
"All of us are pretty stoked to have the crew staying together for another season at the Lightning,'' Koenen said.
"But we are not looking any further ahead than this weekend.
"These last two weeks will determine who finishes where on the ladder so we are at the very pointy end of the season.
"And we know that the Melbourne Vixens are a very formidable opponent.''
Koenen said the healthy competition between her and Proscovia for the starting goalshooter spot alongside goal attack Wood was driving both players to new heights.
"There's no animosity there but we are both passionate about getting out there on court so we are always trying to step it up,'' she said.
"Together we offer quite a lot of versatility. We can change things up and have a holding shooter or a moving circle.''
Koenen said while it "stung" to spend so much time on the bench behind Diamonds duo Bassett and Wood in the Lightning's back-to-back title runs, the experience was invaluable.
"I learned so much from C-Bass (Bassett). She was so generous with her time and it was awesome for me and my development,'' she said.
"It hurt to do all the work and not play in all the games but it was a great netball education.
"I had a really good pre-season over summer. I didn't have any injuries and spent time in the gym and C-Bass leaving opened a door for me.
"It was the opportunity I had been waiting for and I wanted to put my foot in the door.''