Jets netballer Lia Woolnough
Jets netballer Lia Woolnough

Lia's birthday celebration after playing a 'great sport'

HAVING a keen interest in media, communications and business, Lia Woolnough may one day get to write about or forge a career in the sport she loves.

It's games like the latest netball showdown with Tigers that excite the Jets wing or goal defence regular.

"It's such a great sport and I just want more and more people to play it and get involved,'' Woolnough said, having celebrated her 19th birthday on Sunday.

"It's so different. Every game is different. Every player is different so you're always having to change up what you are doing and it's never boring.''

That was certainly the case in the Jets' 55-53 victory over Tigers in Saturday's Sapphire Series Round 8 encounter.

Although the Jets maintained their grip on second place preparing for a top-of-the-table clash with Cougars this weekend, Woolnough had mixed thoughts on the performance.

"Tigers had one of their main defenders back on court after an injury so they definitely utilised her a lot in the game,'' she said.

"Tigers definitely improved and I believe it wasn't our best game.''

Only one goal separated the teams for much of the match at the Queensland State Netball Centre.

"It was quite tight throughout the whole game,'' said Woolnough, who is in her second year studying a double degree at QUT.

She's played in all seven games for the new Jets team, starting at wing defence before moving to goal defence in recent weeks.

"Our team is going pretty well,'' she said, reflecting on the Jets progress entering the second half of the season.

"All the other teams have got the star players like the Firebirds training partners and the Fusion players.

"With our team, I feel like we all work really good together. We don't have any standout players really.''

Having started with Wests aged five and progressed to the Brisbane Lions 19's side in the region, Woolnough saw the Jets as the next logical step in her netball development.

Apart from having some familiar teammates, she also welcomed the challenge to continue working with Lions and Queensland Fusion coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser.

"I believed that we had a pretty strong team and I've always enjoyed Tracey's coaching,'' she said.

"This year is definitely a big step up from last year under- 19's division. But I feel like the Sapphire Series has really brought out the best players in every region, which is really good.''

Keen beachgoer Woolnough has been playing goal defence while teammate Bridey Condren recovers from recent illness.

Holding out the Tigers kept the Jets on 116 points, behind their next opponents Cougars on 125.

Both teams have six wins, with the Cougars having an additional draw.

Cougars are the only team to have so far beaten the Jets.

"It will be a good game,'' Woolnough said, looking ahead to Sunday's 3.20pm clash at the Queensland State Netball Centre.

"I feel like the last time we played them, we didn't play our best.

"If we play our best we can definitely have them.''

In their latest game, the Jets Ruby South team suffered their second loss of the season in going down 51-44 to the competition-leading Tigers.

However, with five previous wins, the Jets Rubies held onto second spot ahead of the QUT Wildcats.

State of play

Sapphire Series Rd 8: Jets def Tigers 55-53.

Next game: Sunday (3.20pm) v Cougars at the Queensland State Netball Centre.

Ruby South Series Rd 8: Tigers def Jets 51-44.

Next game: Sunday (1.30pm) v Cougars at QSNC.