Step up for the ages: Jasprizza moves into 19s set up for New South Wales

CHARLOTTE Jasprizza isn’t foreign to the baby blue bib of the Netball NSW representative teams.

A gun mid-court player in the Orange Netball Association (ONA), Jasprizza has long been part of the blues set-up and just last season starred for NSW at the under 17 championship on her way to selection in the Australian under 17 squad.

But, ahead of the under 19 national championship next week in Melbourne, even she admits making the leap up to the under 19 level has been a bit “weird”.

“We’re all just getting to know each other, but now the new combinations are working and we’re gelling as a team,” Jasprizza said.

“At the beginning it was a bit weird though.”

For Jasprizza, the initial off-beat vibe surrounding the squad was based on the unknown.

With just three of last year’s NSW under 17 team - Jasprizza and fellow Australian squad members Tori Anderson and Lauren Yager - making the transition up a grade, getting familiar with her new under 19 teammates took time.

But following hours of training, Jasprizza is now confident NSW can improve on its fourth place finish at the nationals in 2013.

“Definitely, I hope we can be back in the top three and maybe even in the grand final,” she said.

“There’s a good combination of the girls from the under 17s last year, myself included, and the girls from the under 19s. We’ve trained well and the combinations are working well. There’s a good mix of the newbies and oldbies.”

A member of ONA club Lifestudio, the 17-year-old James Sheahan Catholic High School student wasn’t concerned with making the jump up to under 19 netball.

“Being in the centre court, I’ve got a lot of the other short girls around me,” Jasprizza laughed.

“I don’t have to worry about the taller or stronger girls, but in saying that they’re all very quick in the centre court. It’ll be tough but I’m hoping we can do well.”

NSW tackles the ACT in their first game of the national championship from 12.45pm on Monday, before playing South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory before semi-finals begin on Friday.

The final will be played Saturday week on April 12.

The wing attack labelled sides from Victoria and South Australia as the championship’s toughest.

“Every team will be hard,” she added.

NSW: Toni Anderson (Sutherland Shire), Alisha Cairns (Blacktown City), Olivia Doyle (Baulkham Hills), Natalie Eldridge (St George), Zoe Gilbert (Manly-Warringah), Billie Gurr (Manly-Warringah), Charlotte Jasprizza (Orange), Sarah Kitcher (Grafton), Courtney Richmond (Blacktown City), Tanisha Stanton (Eastwood Ryde), Madeline Woods (Sutherland Shire), Lauren Yager (Sutherland Shire), Briony Akle (head coach).

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