EMMA Koschitzke of the Warrack Eagles has been named the Hatcher Medallist for the 2017 Wimmera Netball Association home and away season.
Koschitzke won the vote count with 25 votes, one more vote than runner-up Dimboola Roo, Jodie Hayes.
Hayes recorded votes in 11 of the 16 matches during the 2017 campaign while Koschitzke polled votes in 12 matches.
Koschitzke averaged 2.08 votes each game she polled in.
The last time a Warrack Eagle won the Hatcher Medal was in 2014, Penny Fisher polled 27 votes to take out the award.
It was close at the top with Minyip-Murtoa Burra Stefanie Cooper getting 23 votes while Horsham Demon sharp shooter Emma Buwalda recorded 22 votes.
Buwalda recorded votes in 11 matches.
The Horsham goal shooter was named the best under-21 player for the season and received the encouragement award.
It didn’t always look like Koschitzke would win with Horsham Demon Abbie Avery leading for the first half of the count.
Avery’s votes dropped off in the latter stages of the season and Koschitzke secured the sought after award with a final three vote game in round 16.
After a strong season and her team finishing in third spot on the ladder, Koschitzke’s Eagles will miss out on the grand final.
They were knocked out by a youthful Horsham Saints team in the semi-finals 51 to 45.
Hayes’ Roos were also knocked out by the Saints but in the elimination final, they were beaten 48 to 25.
Koschitzke said she definitely wasn’t expecting the award.
“I’m in a bit of disbelief at the moment to be honest,” she said.
“It was very close (at the top).”
Koschitzke thought she played well this season.
“I was a lot fitter this year so I think that probably helped my netball a bit,” she said.
“From previous years I thought this year was one of my better ones but I certainly didn’t think I would be winning this award for sure.
“I think it (fitness) definitely helps, especially when Sarah did her knee, I was playing centre a lot more. To be able to run a game out in centre, whereas in previous years I would have struggled to do that.”
Koschitzke played a large amount of her season in centre with an occasional cameo in wing attack.
“It would have been nice to win a final, finishing third it would have been nice to make it into a prelim,” she said.
“We’re a little disappointed not to have a win in finals but we still had a really great year and hopefully we can all stick together and have another crack at it next year.”
Emma Koschitzke, Warrack Eagles 25
Jodie Hayes, Dimboola 24
Stefanie Cooper, Minyip Murtoa 23
Emma Buwalda, Horsham 22
Abbie Avery, Horsham 19
Maggie Caris, Horsham Saints 18
Kirby Knight, Minyip Murtoa 18
Jessica Williamson, Ararat fnc 17
Stevie Bibby, Minyip Murtoa 14
Ashlee Grace, Horsham Saints 14