Lightning captain stepped out of comfort zone and thrived
NETBALL: Geva Mentor now boasts three titles on the elite scene but this one's "right up there" with her career highlights.
The 32-year-old produced an influential display as captain of the Sunshine Coast in its 17-goal win over Giants in the Super Netball decider at Brisbane on Saturday night.
She kept the likes of towering goal shooter Kristina Brice at bay and had a level head when things went pear shaped in the first quarter.
Mentor came up with plenty of big plays which allowed her side to stay in the contest before she guided it to a remarkable victory.
It was due reward for the England representative who already had premierships with Adelaide (2010) and Melbourne (2014) but joined the new team late in the off-season, in pursuit of a fresh challenge.
She emerged as a key player - leading the league in deflections and defensive rebounds - and was an inspiring captain.
"Bringing this (trophy) back to the Sunshine Coast, this is right up there for me," she said.
"It's been a massive move from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast... but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and and see what netball I still had in me.
"The fact that I threw everything at it makes it even more special (and) to do it with this bunch of girls and to do it as a regional team in this competition, which I think has gone to another level this year, it's probably up there with one of my career best (achievements)."
Lightning coach Noeline Taurua lauded Mentor and most valuable player Karla Mostert for their efforts at the back of the court.
"It was fantastic work from the defence end which put a lot of pressure on," she said.
"But also giving compliment to the ones outside, Laura Langman and (Laura) Scherian, who also did the grind on the outside feeders."