ORANGE High have got the skills but it is the camaraderie which could be a deciding factor in the NSW Combined High Schools final 16 netball series.
The tournament brings together the top 16 public school sides in the state to play off for the NSW title.
Orange earned a place in the series by winning the Western Region title.
The series starts today with Orange High to play the regional winners from South Coast, Hunter and Sydney West in their pool matches.
Should Orange finish in the top two in their pool, they’ll move into tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
“We’re hoping for a top 10 finish and we hope to win all our pool games,” Orange High coach Tegan Dray said.
“You can never tell how strong teams will be from year to year.”
Orange team captain Mikayla Riley said there is one thing which will ensure her team is competitive.
“The team spirit and the want to win in a lot more this year,” Riley said.
“Tegan (Dray) has had a massive influence. Everything is new. We’re training a lot harder and the girls are so passionate about the sport and want to win. We’re all friends on and off the court.”
The Orange players are in good form with the team, called High A, finishing in the top four in the Orange Netball Association division one competition.
High A won their minor semi-final 49-34 over Hawks Williams Smash Repairs on Saturday.
“We had a good win on the weekend which has given the girls a confidence boost,” Dray said.
Dray said playing in the senior competition against experienced adults each week was a great help to her young side.
Regardless of where they finish at the NSW CHS competition, Dray said the Orange High girls will be fired up for their ONA preliminary final against LifeStudio Westoil on Saturday.
The NSW CHS final 16 netball series will be contested at Cronulla across today and tomorrow.
n ORANGE HIGH: Kaleah Blowes, Shannen Downer, Katie Eslick, Alex Kennedy, Sophie Kloosterman, Chloe Riley, Mikayla Riley (c), Tash Rudd (vc), Olivia Thompson, Abby Tilburg.