Edenhope's Sacha McDonald has relished her first chance playing with elite netball team the Melbourne Vixens in a pre-season tournament in Brisbane.
McDonald, 19, was hard-done-by with a late rule change allowing only 10 on the bench per team rather than the initially expected 12 for the inaugural Team Girls Cup.
The change meant McDonald was only able to find her way onto the court in one of the Vixen's four matches, in a contest against the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
But McDonald said she had a feeling of confidence throughout the match and the weekend that boded well for her future with the team.
"I actually wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be," McDonald said. "The girls - especially some of the older girls - really got around me and made me feel super comfortable."
McDonald got on the court after half-time against the Thunderbirds, as the Vixens powered to a tight 30-24 win in their opening match.
"It wasn't my best or my worst game and it went by really quickly with only 10-minute quarters, but I was just happy to get out there," McDonald said.
"The coaches gave me good feedback with how I went, and for me it was just an awesome experience."
The Vixens reeled off three straight victories, earning their way to the final of the tournament before falling in a close contest against the Collingwood Magpies 39-33.
McDonald said the format of four games in three days was another aspect that made her feel a bit more comfortable in her first tournament with the Vixens.
"It was a little bit different than what [the Vixens] are used to, this style of tournament with back-to-back games," McDonald said.
"It felt a bit more like nationals and what I've learnt with the Victorian Fury, so I felt pretty comfortable with it. But I think most of the credit goes to the team and the coaching staff. They welcomed me with open arms as a new and a younger player, which made me feel like I really belonged."