Regrouping after a disappointing loss to the New South Wales Swifts in Round One of the season last week, the Melbourne Vixens will be hunting their first win of the season against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at the Titanium Security Arena on Sunday.
Sunday 10 April, 12pm AEST, Titanium Security Arena, SA
Broadcast: Live on Fox Sports 2 (AUS), Channel Ten (AUS) & Netball Live (App)
Last facing each other in Round Four of the 2015 season, the Vixens narrowly went down to the Thunderbirds by two goals, 45-47.
Looking to cement themselves as one of the strongest teams in this year’s competition, the Vixens will showcase a mix of familiar and new faces amongst this weekend’s team.
After welcoming Kim Commane into the squad last weekend and shining the spotlight on debutant Emma Ryde, the Vixens’ attacking third will be at its strongest when coupled with Alice Teague-Neeld’s athleticism and Karyn Bailey’s experience.
At the other end of the court, eyes will be on Vixens’ goalkeeper Geva Mentor, who will stand tall alongside the Thunderbirds firepower Carla Borrego.
Despite the Thunderbirds loss to West Coast Fever last week, Borrego’s shooting accuracy currently sits at 80% for the season, however, her limits will be tested when up against her 2010 Thunderbirds teammate Mentor.
Head Coach Simone McKinnis is looking for an improved performance against the Thunderbirds on Sunday.
“The number one thing I’m looking for is for the girls to stick to their role and improve our consistency, focus and attention throughout the match,” McKinnis said.
“We need to be smarter with our ball work and movements, and apply more defensive pressure across the court and not just leave it to our defensive end.”
The Melbourne Vixens will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins against the Thunderbirds in 2016 on Sunday after winning their two pre-season encounters in Shepparton 53-40 and 49-48.
Last competitive meeting: Rd 4, 2015: Melbourne Vixens lost to the Adelaide Thunderbirds 45-47.
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1. The Melbourne Vixens have played the Adelaide Thunderbirds on 19 occasions, winning 12, losing seven and drawing nil.
2. Head Coaches Simone McKinnis and Michelle Den Dekker were Australian teammates, playing alongside each other in the winning 1991 World Championship team.
3. Geva Mentor (MV) and Carla Borrego (AT) played together for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2010, claiming the ANZ Championship title that year.
4. It will be a good matchup in the centre when ex Australian U21 teammates Liz Watson (MV) and Maddy Proud (AT) line-up against each other.
5. The Adelaide Thunderbirds Assistant Coach Kristy Birrell is ex Fury Head Coach. Birrell will have intimate knowledge of the Vixens’ athletes as they progressed through Netball Victoria’s pathway.