VICTORIAN representative Emma Ryan makes her return for Ballarat Pride in the Victorian Netball League championship division tonight.
She lines up against Peninsula Waves fresh from the national 21 and under championship.
Victoria was second to South Australia in the tournament, which finished on Sunday.
“It was an amazing experience,” Ryan said.
“One of the best in my netball life.”
Ryan said she had learnt a great deal in four months of training with the squad and then the tournament.
She is hoping that as well as using this learning curve to help her own game in the VNL, she hoped to be able to pass on some knowledge such as set plays and defensive zones to teammates.
While Ryan plays goal defence for Federation Uni Pride, she spent most of her time in Victorian colours in wing defence.
She said she did have a short stint in the defensive circle – a testing time against shooters who were “so tall”.
Ryan has no doubt she is a better player for the experience.
Tonight will be her first outing with Pride since round four in late February.
She missed Ballarat’s last game on March 14 owing to state commitments going into the nationals.
Pride runs into one of the in-form outfits in third-placed Peninsula on its return to the court at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne tonight.
Waves are looking a little off the pace when measuring up against the top two of City West Falcons and Boroondara Genesis.
Although still to face Falcons, they did come up well short against Boroondara.
What Peninsula has been able to do is make the most of opportunities against teams mid-pack – defeating Southern Saints, Monash Uni Storm and Geelong Cougars.
Unfortunately Ballarat has been able to do this and resumes from a week off for the competition without a win and on the bottom of the ladder.
It has been an all too familiar story.
Pride has improved, but so has everyone else and Ballarat has been able to make up any ground on rivals.
Physically, Ballarat is not in the ball park at the moment and this is not something which can be improved overnight.