The Melbourne Vixens are set to take on GIANTS Netball in a must-win Suncorp Super Netball Preliminary Final this Saturday.
A win on Saturday would see the team travel to Queensland to contest the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final against the Sunshine Coast Lightning, and a loss would mean elimination.
Both teams had tough matches in the Semi Finals – the Vixens going down by a goal against the strong Lightning team, while the GIANTS secured a come-from-behind, one-goal win to keep their season alive against the Magpies.
Melbourne Vixens defender, Jo Weston, said the team was disappointed after last weekend’s loss.
“It was a really hotly contested match and there were a couple of key moments where we didn’t really seize our opportunities,” said Weston.
“But from that comes a really big learning curve and we’re going to take those learnings and grow this week.”
The teams have met twice during the season, with the Vixens claiming the first victory, before the GIANTS dominated in Round 12.
The first time they met, in Round 6, the Vixens were eight goal victors, and shooter Mwai Kumwenda claimed her first Nissan MVP Award of the season, shooting 35 goals from 38 attempts.
The tables were turned when the two sides met again in Round 12 though, with the GIANTS defence smothering the Vixens attacking line, to win 56-52.
Weston said the team had learnt from that Round 12 loss.
“There’s going to be a couple of things that I think we’ll look to change up,” said Weston.
“I think we’re very fortunate to have had that loss to them because we really could see some of the best they can put out on court, and then we can work on our strategy to try and tackle that.”
“I think we just have to be intense from the start, and also capitalise on any turnovers we get, especially if they have someone like Kristina Brice back at Goal Shooter, they can convert to goals pretty quickly, so for us it’s about making the most of those opportunities when we get them.”
The game is filled with thrilling match-ups, with the centre-court battle between Vixens Captain, Kate Moloney, and English import, Serena Guthrie most enticing.
Both Moloney and Guthrie are known for their defensive ability, so expect a determined and even match-up between the two players.
The winner of the match will progress to the Grand Final, which will be hosted by the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Brisbane.
Live on 9GEM, beginning at 7pm AEST, Saturday 10 June.
Follow the team's results on Twitter by following @MelbourneVixens and using #VIXvGIA, #VixensFamily and #WeMakeChampions.