Not for the first time this year, Hannah Mundy swapped into the centre bib for the Melbourne Vixens on the weekend.
In her first year at Super Netball level, she’s done what many didn’t think possible: fill the hole left behind by the injured Liz Watson.
Most comfortable at wing attack, it’s been a learning process for the 20-year-old.
In the weekend’s valiant win over the top of the table Sunshine Coast Lightning, Mundy made centre her own. She led the Vixens for assists with 15, and was second for feeds with 22.
Speaking to The Inner Sanctum, Mundy believes her partnership with her captain throughout the mid-court has helped her reach her potential in such a short time.
“My partnership with Kate [Moloney] on court has been the biggest thing for me confidence-wise,” Mundy said.
“Her on-court leadership has been really helpful in my progression in the season. Having that off-court relationship as well has helped my nerves and belief in myself, to just go out there and give it everything.
“When Moloney and I switched [wing attack and centre positions], Moloney was really strong with her space… it was really easy for me to just fill the space and the flow of the ball was much better.
“Defensively I thought that my game was stronger than it has been in the past, so I was really happy with how my game was on the weekend.”
More Netball News
Mundy stresses how much more “comfortable” she’s become at Super Netball level as the year’s gone by.
It’s been a unique season for the Vixens, rebuilding past lost experience in all parts of the court and relying heavily on replacement players.
While Mundy admits it took her a while to get into the swing of the top level, she says the pathways she’s taken to get there helped her immensely.
“Having 2020 off, for me wasn’t the best thing,” she said.
“Because I did have a year off netball… I guess getting that training partner at the start of this year was such a privilege and I was really grateful for that opportunity.
“Then being told 24 hours before that you’re starting in round one, it was such a nerve-wracking feeling. I think I did feel prepared, as the Netball Vic pathway is so great and really does support you and prepare you for anything at the highest level.
“The nerves have definitely settled since then, and each game I’ve just become more confident in my game. I think that every game now I’m more excited to get out there and see what I can do and just improve overall.”
Melbourne Vixens hub life
Sharing the centre duties alongside her and Moloney has been fellow youngster Allie Smith.
Hailing from the Geelong suburb of Leopold, Smith has been rotating into the centre bib from the defensive third, usually starting in wing defence.
Smith has just a touch more Super Netball experience than Mundy, getting court-time in the 2020 season up in Queensland.
Mundy says she’s noticed the growth in her teammate, not just in her play, but also in her maturity on court.
“I think Allie is such a strong presence on-court she takes anything and any opportunity she is given,” Mundy said.
“Seeing her display that determination and relentlessness really gives me that spark to keep going, and she is a really great on-court leader.
“When we worked together on the weekend for a short period of time, we did have that connection, and I felt like she did have my back. I think she’s been doing a great job.”
Much like 2020, the Vixens were forced up to Queensland for a brief hub intermission.
Mundy roomed with Smith and another teammate, who as Mundy shares, is renowned within the playing group for a particularly annoying habit.
“Kaylia [Stanton]… she loves to sing, which she knows that there’s a time and place for singing for me,” Mundy laughed.
“It was always fun to be around her, but she never stops talking! She is a really good cook so I’ve got to give her that. Treated me very well when I was her roomie.
“Then my other roomie was Allie, and we get along quite well, so it was really comfy to have her as a roomie as well.
“I was excited to be in some sort of hub environment, and it really opened my eyes and brought so many new and different experiences that I’m grateful for.
“Next time I’ll probably pack a few more things! I definitely had to spend money on a couple of things because I wasn’t that prepared.
“I think the older girls have been really helpful in that aspect of preparing us all.”
The Vixens face the NSW Swifts on Saturday at John Cain Arena. They’ll be looking to cause another upset at the top of the table at home.
Subscribe to our newsletter!