Mildura South netballer Iliseva Sovau has made the Victorian Under 17 State squad.

It was announced recently that Sovau was one of around 30 girls to make the squad, with further trainings to take place over the coming weeks before the final team is decided.

Sovau, now 17, first competitively played netball nine years ago.

“I played for my school – Mildura West Primary School,” she said.

“Lisa Saunders, my first ever netball coach, convinced me to play netball.
“Both my Grandma and Mum played netball so it was a must that I played.”

Deciding netball was a sport she would like to pursuit outside of school, Sovau played for South Mildura in the Sunraysia Football Netball League at first, before moving to Merbein Football Netball Club and then returning to the Bulldogs.

“Netball teaches people so much more than the sport itself,” Sovau said.

“Being a member of a netball team teaches skills that the people take with them into their wider worlds of school and work.
“And the sport itself is just so fun to play.”

Sovau can play at both ends of the court – both as a goal defender and shooter.

She doesn’t have a preference which position she plays, but does feel slightly more at home as a defender because that is where she has spent more time.

She said her biggest achievements in netball have been winning the Under 17 Sunraysia Football Netball League Best and Fairest two years in a row, along with making the State squad this year.

“To get to the State squad I started in the Northern Zone Academy,” Sovau said.

“Then there was an Inter Academy Tournament in Bendigo where selectors picked around 50 girls for the screening day, which basically means to try out to be in the U/17 State Squad.
“Now I’m in the squad team, we have three trainings then a final trial on Friday, April 23 for the State Team.
“Selectors will pick about 12 girls for that.”

Sovau said it would mean a lot for her to make the final selection given she has been trying out for the State team since Under 12s.

“In Under 12 I made it through the first trial then I got dropped,” she said.

“Under 15 I made it through all the trials except the last one and this year I’m even closer.”

The 2021 National Netball Championships will be held in Hobart from July 4 to 11.