Maria Tutaia staying with Mystics in 2016

Aug 20, 2015 - 12:28 AM Hot on the heels of a starring role in New Zealand's World Cup campaign, Maria Tutaia has committed to a seventh season of trans-Tasman netball for the Mystics.

Experienced goal attack and Mystics skipper Tutaia will add to her 116 appearances in the ANZ Championship, having lifted her number of Test caps to 102 during the World Cup this month.

The 28-year-old was a standout figure in the Silver Ferns' unbeaten run to the final in Sydney, shining with her movement and long-range shooting. It wasn't enough to prevent a loss to Australia in the decider though.

Mystics coach Debbie Fuller labelled Tutaia one of the sport's premier players.

"Maria's form at the World Cup and for the Mystics this year was absolute elite," she said.

"There is an expectation for her to deliver every time she takes the court and she has grown as an athlete to the point that she can enjoy that, rather than backing away from it."

Tutaia hopes the Mystics can improve on a 2015 campaign in which they qualified first in the New Zealand conference but were beaten in the conference final by Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

"We have a young and diverse team and, while the season didn't finish as strongly as we would have liked, I felt the brand of netball we were playing in the second half of the year just needs some fine-tuning."

Source: AAP

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