Round 14 Preview: Lightning v Vixens

29 days ago

The Melbourne Vixens will be looking to get back on the winners list when they take on the Sunshine Coast Lightning for their final home-and-away match of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season.

With the Vixens and the Lightning playing in the final match of Round 14, the result will likely determine who will play who in the first week of the Finals Series, starting the following weekend.

The Vixens enjoyed an enlightening trip to Cairns for the penultimate round of the regular season, but unfortunately were unable to come away with a win.

Jamaican defender, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, said she thoroughly enjoyed the team’s trip to far north Queensland to celebrate Indigenous Round.

“It’s good to see another side of Australia,” Dehaney said. “I’ve never been to Cairns before so it’s a beautiful place; a lot of indigenous people and a lot of indigenous culture being spread, and I learned a lot in Cairns, so it was good.”

“It was also good to play in a pop up arena in Bunnings - I can now tell people back in Jamaica I’ve played at Bunnings!” Dehaney laughed.

Dehaney has experienced significantly more court time this year, having already taken to the court 10 times thus far in 2020, compared with nine appearances in the 2019 season. Dehaney was brought on midway through the second quarter of last Sunday’s game against the Firebirds, in a bid to try and stem the flow of the ball through to the Firebirds’ powerhouse shooter in Romelda Aiken.

“It’s always exciting to play against a Jamaican player,” Dehaney continued. “We had our little chats but I’m not a big talker on court because I find it distracting… I’m all about business when I get on court and I’m sure Romelda was all about business [too].”

With regular starting goal keeper for the Vixens, Emily Mannix, missing Rounds 10 and 11 of the condensed SSN season due to calf soreness, this gave Dehaney a chance to shine.

“[It was] disappointing for Em for those couple of rounds that she missed…but it was good for me to get the opportunity to see [if] what I’ve been working on at training could be implemented on court.

“That was very good for me and just to get out there and help my team for the win’s that we’ve got.”

In preparation for facing the Lightning at home on the Sunshine Coast this weekend, Dehaney emphasised that it was all about perfecting the basics for her team.

“We’ve just got to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Not to think about them a lot, just to focus on us leading into this game…like say for example, to get the rebounds, because knowing Steph Wood, she doesn’t miss a lot, but when she does we have got to clean up and just get the ball down to our shooters, and just work on our connections.

“We definitely learnt a lot from Firebirds, looking back at the tape…well, it was very hard to look back at that loss, but we’ve got to learn from our mistakes and going into finals they’ve definitely taught us what we need to work on so…it’s not a weakness, but we just need to improve certain stuff leading into the finals.”

Despite all the talk about the impending 2020 Finals Series, Dehaney is adamant that her side still has one thing to focus on first – one final regular season win in 2020.

“Well, we’re not there yet. Personally, I’m not looking too far ahead, I’m just looking at Lightning first quarter, and just to win that first quarter leading into the next, but yeah it’s definitely an exciting moment for us heading into the finals, for sure I’m excited!”

The Melbourne Vixens will be hosted by the Sunshine Coast Lightning this Sunday 27 September at USC Stadium. The match will be broadcast live on Channel 9 from 1pm.

Don’t forget, you can still support the Vixens from home on the couch! Use the hashtag #VixensAtHome on your social media, and become a Beyond the Court member for just $55 here.

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