Big V 2015: Are Southern Peninsula the real deal in SCW?

The Southern Peninsula Sharks women have enjoyed a dream start in Big V’s top flight, making it to the Easter break undefeated and sitting pretty in third spot on the State Championship ladder.

While it is still very early going, the question needs to be begged – are the Sharks the real deal in 2015?

Credit: Big V Media

So far, the short answer is yes.

All three wins have been impressive in their own way.

Round one saw the Sharks dismantle a young Melbourne side by 37 points to kick off their campaign. Yes, the Tigers just went down by 73 – that’s right, 73 – points to Hume City over the weekend, but given it was the Sharks’ first game in State Championship and the score line was expected to be much closer, they have to get a tick for their performance.

The following week was where the rest of the league was forced to stand up and take notice of the new kids on the block.

After trailing by three points to competition heavyweights Waverley at half time, the Sharks went on a tear and romped to a 28-point win over the Falcons, including a 25-7 third term.

Two-from-two became three-from-three with a hard-fought win over plucky Warrandyte in round three.

On face value a seven-point win over the Venom looks average, but when you take into account their two best players, Ella Hellessy and Chevannah Paalvast, combined for just 15 points on 6-for-21 shooting it suddenly becomes all about the Sharks’ depth.

In rounds one and two it was all about Paalvast, a Kiwi-born import, and Hellessy, a member of the Melbourne Boomers WNBL development squad last season, as the pair tallied 72 points and 38 rebounds between them against Melbourne and Waverley.

However, it has been the performances of Jamilee Pearce and Jazmin Shelley, particularly in their win over Warrandyte, which is the biggest indication that the Sharks will be right up with the top sides come season’s end.

Big V championships are certainly not won in March and April, and there is no doubt that South Peninsula have plenty of work to do to put themselves in a position to challenge for the most unexpected of titles, particularly once the ‘unknown’ factor of their side wears off.

Not to mention, outside of powerhouses Ringwood, Hume City and Waverley, the likes of Bulleen and McKinnon will also have their say in the finals race.

But if their two key pieces in Paalvast and Hellessy can continue to perform under increasing pressure throughout the year, and the lesser likes can continue to pop up when the stars are struggling, the Sharks have the making of a quality side.

Time will tell how far Southern Peninsula can actually go, but so far their move to State Championship has been a resounding success for both the club and the league.

To find your local club’s fixtures and results, and to keep up to date with all the league news and information over the season, head to or click here.