Thursday 9 June 2016 (Melbourne, Victoria) – It’s a must win match for the Melbourne Vixens in their clash against Trans-Tasman rivals the Northern Mystics in Round 11 of the ANZ Championship at Hisense Arena on Sunday at 12pm AEST.
With the Australian Conference Finals quickly approaching, two victory points will give the Vixens some much needed breathing space on the championship ladder.
“Every game is a must win match for us now, we cannot afford to drop any more if we want to be in finals contention,” Melbourne Vixens shooter Karyn Bailey said.
Bailey believes the team are determined to produce an improved performance this week after a disappointing loss to the Queensland Firebirds on the Gold Coast last week.
“The game against the Firebirds was one of the worst we have had this season, and probably across many seasons,” Bailey said.
“We have been working really hard at training this week at being more disciplined and reducing those errors which unfortunately cost us on the weekend.”
It’s the first time this season that the two teams have met. They previously played each other in Round 14 of the 2015 season. The Vixens defeated the Mystics 56-48 in Auckland.
Currently placed third and fourth on their respective conference ladders, this match is a must win encounter for both sides. The Vixens head into the Round 11 clash as crowd favourites, holding seven previous wins compared to the Mystics two.
A dark horse in the competition, the Mystics finished on top of the New Zealand conference ladder in 2015, after defeating the WBOP Magic in Round 12.
Keep your eyes peeled across the entire court on Sunday, with key match-ups being Geva Mentor and Cathrine Tuivaiti, Jo Weston and Maria Tutaia, Madi Robinson and Serena Guthrie and Karyn Bailey and Anna Harrison. All players will be looking to get the better of their opponents with finals only one month away.
Bailey’s biggest challenge will be Harrison in the Vixens’ attacking circle. Harrison returned to the competition this year after welcoming her second baby.
“She is a very athletic player and an extremely smart player on the court so it will be a matter of changing my game to make sure that I am not complementing her style and converting my chances in attack,” Bailey said.
Instrumental in introducing the chair lift to netball, Harrison debuted the move incidentally off Vixens experienced Goal Shooter Bailey in Round Eight back in 2012 at Hisense Arena. The Mystics went on to the win the match 49-45, which was the last time the they defeated the Vixens.
Last competitive meeting: Rd 14, 2015: Melbourne Vixens won 56-48 to the Northern Mystics.
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 (56-44 Firebirds)
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), TEN and Netball Live (App).
Social media Follow the team's results on Twitter by following @MelbourneVixens and using #PowerTogether.