MONASH University Central got jumped in its opening match of the Victorian Netball League season and the side has pledged to never let it happen again.
Southern Saints leapt out of the blocks against Central on Wednesday night, leading 8-1 in the opening few minutes, and were never headed as they went on to record a 44-33 win.
Central coach Leesa Maxfield said her players were caught unprepared for a regular season game, with the players determined to be ready for all their remaining matches this season.
"The Saints played very well; they went out and did what they needed to do to win," she said.
"With the standard of play they put out there and their intensity from the start, we got jumped.
"It shows our girls you can't just rest on your laurels at the start of the match. You have to be ready to do the work."
Despite the poor start, Central worked its way back into the match, closing to within two goals of the Saints.
But Central would get no closer despite forcing plenty of turnovers and deflections as they were unable to make use of their extra possessions, missing too many shots and making some poor passes.
Maxfield said captain Helen Barclay, centre Tegan Ashmore and a "workmanlike" Lil O'Sullivan were excellent in defence and centre court with their pressure and forced turnovers.
"We had the opportunities to win it but we didn't capitalise on those opportunities," Maxfield said.
"We didn't shoot as well as we would expect and I think we took the right options with our passes but at times didn't execute the pass correctly, so it was turned over.
"But not executing a pass will no longer be acceptable for us — we have to do it right."
Maxfield also said her shooters were frustrated when Saints' defenders crowded their shot attempts early in the match.
Central has trained with greater intensity since the loss and Maxfield is confident her side will be much more switched on for the rest of the season, starting with its round 2 clash against North-East Blaze this Wednesday night.
"We are in a frame of mind where we don't want to let it happen again.
"Our intensity was much better at training after the loss.
"I think we have been shocked into performance.
"We are now in season, the whistle has gone and we have got to perform."
In the VNL division 1 competition Central beat Southern Saints 45-42 while in the under-19s Saints beat Central 39-32.