Thursday 2 June 2016 (Melbourne, Victoria) – The Melbourne Vixens will be chasing their sixth victory of the season against the Queensland Firebirds in Round Ten of the ANZ Championship at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday evening.
After defeating the Adelaide Thunderbirds last weekend in Melbourne, the Vixens will be looking to string together their third consecutive victory.
The Vixens will face a tough challenge against the Firebirds, with the reigning premiers looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season to the New South Wales Swifts in Round Nine.
Vixens Head Coach Simone McKinnis believes the team will need to ‘work hard’ in order to get a positive result against the Firebirds on Saturday.
“We have to be prepared to work across the court and make the most of every opportunity,” McKinnis said.
“When we have options on the ball we need be patient in order to get our goal shooters into a strong position to score.” Both sides have had limited time to prepare for this weekend’s clash with many players taking part in an Australian Diamonds training camp earlier in the week.
Diamonds teammates Karyn Bailey and Laura Geitz will be vital for their sides on Saturday with Bailey entering the match in red-hot form after shooting 34 from 36 during the Vixens’ last start.
The 29-year-old was absent from the Vixens Round Three loss to the Firebirds earlier in the season due to injury and will be looking to make the difference this time around.
At the other end of the court, Geva Mentor and Jo Weston will have their hands full in trying to restrict a potent Firebirds attacking circle featuring familiar faces Romelda Aiken and Gretel Tippett. The Swifts were successful in employing key strategies to shutdown Tippett's layup over the weekend and the Vixens will also be looking to do the same.
The mid-court battle will also be pivotal for both sides, with Captain Madi Robinson and Liz Watson set to go head-to-head with Gabi Simpson and Kim Ravaillion, who have been in excellent form for the Firebirds this season.
Currently sitting in third place on the Australian Conference ladder, a win on Saturday will move the Vixens a step closer to securing a place in the finals before they return to Melbourne in Round 11 to host the Northern Mystics at Hisense Arena.
Last competitive meeting: Rd 3, 2016: Queensland Firebirds won 58-47 to the Melbourne Vixens.
Fixtures and results Sunday 3 April: Vixens v Swifts, Sydney, NSW (42-57 Swifts)
Sunday 10 April: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Adelaide, SA (59-44 Vixens)
Saturday 16 April: Vixens v Firebirds, Melbourne, VIC (47-58 Firebirds)
Sunday 1 May: Vixens v Magic, Melbourne, VIC (57-34 Vixens)
Monday 9 May: Vixens v Tactix, Christchurch, NZL (69-48 Vixens)
Sunday 15 May: Vixens v Swifts, Melbourne, VIC (51-59 Swifts)
Saturday 21 May: Vixens v Fever, Perth, WA (54-53 Vixens)
Saturday 28 May: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Melbourne, VIC (57-51 Vixens)
Saturday 4 June: Vixens v Firebirds, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 12 June: Vixens v Mystics, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19 June: Vixens v Fever, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25 June: Vixens v Steel, Invercargill, NZL
Monday 4 July: Vixens v Pulse, Wellington, NZL
Broadcast Live on Fox Sport (AUS) and Netball Live (App). Social media Follow the team's results on Twitter by following @MelbourneVixens and using #PowerTogether.