Those who caught some of the action from Division One of the 2013 Court Craft Plexipave Night Interdistrict might have seen a familiar name on the back of not one, but three St George dresses.
Sisters Nicole, Megan and Kara Styles made up St George’s defensive end, causing opposition players (and umpires!) confusion as the three sisters worked in tandem to prevent the ball from entering the circle.
Surprisingly, despite the Styles’ sisters having 12 years of NSW representation under their belts, the 2013 twilight competition was the first time all three had played in the same team.
The eldest sister Nicole (24) is the only sister to have played with both Megan and Kara; first with Megan (22) in the defensive circle for Penrith’s DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup side, before running out with Kara (18) for St George in the 2013 Waratah Cup competition and the Netball NSW Blues in this year’s Australian Netball League.
Nicole says it was amazing to finally get all three Styles together on the court for the same side.
“It was so much fun to have us all out there. Being the eldest I would like to think the girls look up to me – if not physically, then at least metaphorically – but really we just had a lot of fun playing NID together,” Nicole said.
“Megan and I played together in the defensive circle for years and years, so we can read each other like the back of our hands but now Kara has joined us. She’s a young player but she’s so eager to learn and listen to advice, so I’ve really enjoyed playing with her too.”
One of her favourite moments from the 2013 NID competition was when Nicole – a traditional defensive player – swapped ends to try her hand at shooting.
“It was very strange to watch Megan and Kara pairing up in the defensive circle without me … and a little frustrating because I couldn’t tell them what I could see!” laughed Nicole.
Kara made her NSW representative debut with the Netball NSW Blues this year, but says one of her highlights has to be running out with both older sisters.
“It was so good – they are both really experienced netballers and they didn’t baby me at all. Both Nicole and Megan are really positive players on the court, and they really lift you when you need to dig deep,” Kara said.
“Although we had lots of fun on court, I don’t think anybody enjoyed it more than Mum and Dad! Every week they’d come to Anne Clark Centre to watch us, which makes it hard to pick which one of us is the favourite daughter!”
After taking a season off from DOOLEYS State League action, Megan was enticed back to playing the NID competition with the prospect of uniting all three Styles on-court together for the first time.
Now that the ten-week twilight competition has come to a close, Megan says she is looking forward to stepping out with her sisters and St George for the 2014 DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup competition.
“NID is a much more relaxed and fun competition – not as intense as State League – which is a good way to close off a season,” Megan said.
“Personally I’m really excited to come back and play State League again next year, especially to be able to run out with Nicole and Kara again. I missed the competitiveness of State League and can’t wait to get started.”
Although Megan said she will have to think of ways to differentiate herself from her younger sibling, as not to confuse those in white with the whistle.
“A couple of times this season the umpires have mixed Kara and myself up, and I was being asked to stand aside for Kara’s indiscretions. They were honest mistakes, but both Nicole and Kara found it very funny!” Megan laughed.