Ash Ervin is the final piece to the Lightning's puzzle (Image: Sunshine Coast Lightning)

Ash Ervin will return for her second season with the Sunshine Coast Lightning ahead of the 2024 Super Netball season.

The 20-year-old received her first contract for the Lightning in 2023, called up from a Queensland Firebirds training partner contract. Ervin made an immediate impact out on court, proving she’s capable of playing at the elite level.

Ervin initially progressed through the Netball Queensland ranks as a shooter, but after a disappointing season, she decided to use her skills as a defender.

In 2020, she joined the Bond University Bull Shark’s Ruby side, in the HART Sapphire Series. Prior to signing with the Lightning, Ervin played for the Jets in the Sapphire team for 2022.

Ervin debuted for the Lightning in Round Two of the 2023 season and was invited to join the 2023/2024 squad at the Constellation Cup training camp as an invitee.

This year alone, Ervin played in Australia’s FAST5 side, and the Sunshine Coast Lightning Bolts in the Australian Netball Championships ANC. She was one of the best players in both sides and named in the Australia Under 21 squad.

The 11 gamer also played for the Queensland Sapphires in the ANC and represented her state on multiple nationals.

Ervin was easily convinced to sign again with the Lightning and is excited for the season ahead.

“My decision to sign with Lightning for 2024 was an easy one. After joining the club for 2023, I hoped from the very start I would be re-offered a contract,” she said.

“The club, coaching staff, the girls and the overall culture is what drew me in. I also love that I can remain a Queenslander and be near my family.

I’m really looking forward to what this team holds for 2024 — there are some really exciting players joining, and I think Lightning fans should feel comfortable knowing this team is looking strong.

“The 2023 team created the foundations of an amazing club and culture, now it’s time to look at what this new group for the 2024 season can do. I think we have something really special.”

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Head Coach Belinda Reynolds was impressed with Ervin’s breakout year and believes she’ll only keep growing as a player.

“Ash is a very exciting young player who really stood up and delivered in her first year of SSN. She took every opportunity with two hands and always gave it her all when she stepped onto court,” Reynolds said.

“Her height is incredibly important for us in the defensive end, and her footwork and smarts have really impressed me. It’s been fantastic to see her grow so much in a short period of time, and I’m looking forward to see her continue that in 2024.”

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