HAVEN netballer Jordie McAuliffe is a national champion.
McAuliffe was vice-captain of the School Sport Victoria 12 and under netball team that won the School Sport Australia championships in Maitland, NSW.
The week-long championships finished on Friday night, with Victoria not losing a single match.
But it was no easy task for the team, with a tough match against South Australia ending in a draw during the first round of competition.
The Victorian team also survived a tense two-goal match against NSW 1 in the first game of the finals.
McAuliffe said she had a fantastic time at the championships and loved the experience.
“It was really tough competition,” she said. “We moved the ball fast down the court and we just played well as a team.
“I think I did well, just encouraging the other players on my team.”
The tournament was played in a round-robin format with teams playing each other once.
NSW fielded two teams, while each other state entered one team.
Victoria got off to a great start with big wins over Northern Territory and ACT before facing South Australia in its third match.
McAuliffe said her team was behind for most of the game but dug deep to score in the dying seconds and come away with a draw.
“We were behind at the start and then we came back in the last couple of minutes,” she said.
“Our goal attack Abbey Ellis, who is the captain, shot a goal on the buzzer.”
After the draw, no team got within nine goals of Victoria during the group stage.
The eight teams were split into top four and bottom four groups and the top four played each other again to determine an overall winner.
NSW 1 gave the Vics a scare but it easily overcame Western Australia and Queensland to claim the championship.
McAuliffe said she also had fun away from the netball court and made several new friends.
“We did some activities and went to the Maitland Jail and learned some new things there,” she said.
“A girl billeted with us from the Northern Territory so we made friends with her.”
McAuliffe said she was keen to represent Victoria again in netball after her experience at the championships.