The Melbourne Vixens will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season when they take on the Sunshine Coast Lightning in their Round 3 clash at USC Stadium tomorrow night.
Despite their comfortable 28-goal win over the Queensland Firebirds last weekend, the Vixens are gearing up for a tough outing against the Lightning, who have also started the season with two wins from as many games.
In unusual circumstances - befit of the year 2020 - tomorrow’s clash will be a Vixens home match, despite it being held on the home court of the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
After making her long-awaited debut for the Vixens last week, speedy, young midcourter, Tayla Honey, is ready for her next shot at taking to the court in the world’s top netball league.
“It felt amazing,” Honey said of her debut, which had been put on hold several times, first due to a ruptured Achilles, and then COVID-19. “Obviously, it’s been a long-term goal of mine for quite some time now, so it was a dream come true when Simone said to me, ‘Tayla, you’re on.’ So, it was very, very exciting, and it was great to get the win as well.”
Honey replaced the eventual Player of the Match, Liz Watson , in wing attack during the third quarter against the Firebirds, before Watson came on to join Honey in the midcourt – this time at centre – during the final term.
“Lizzy has proven over the many years of competition how much of a threat and big time player she is, so I’m learning a lot from Lizzy,” Honey said of her Co-Captain, “and I think it’s great to be able to have the flexibility to be able to change it up in attack, and give Liz a break when she needs it.”
Honey is expecting her side to come up against a team of fierce and experienced competitors in the Lightning.
“Lightning have won the [SSN] competition twice so they know how to play the game, and they’re very strong in their attack end and defence as well,” Honey continued.
“Individually, I’ll be looking to take the strong drives to draw out defenders, [as] they’ve got defence that like to go for a hunt and like to win ball, and as a team, I think just treasuring on all the turnovers we do get [will be crucial].”
As if the Vixens didn’t need any further motivation to notch up their third win of the season, tomorrow night’s match will also mark Co-Captain Kate Moloney’s 100th game for the Melbourne Vixens. This will see Moloney become just the third player wearing Vixens colours to do so, behind current goaler, Tegan Philip (120*), and Vixens and Australian Diamonds legend, Bianca Chatfield (111).
The Vixens clash with the Lightning at USC Stadium tomorrow night from 7.30pm. The game will be broadcast live on Telstra TV and the Netball Live App.
For our Melbourne army, you can support the Vixens from home on the couch, by using the hashtag #VixensAtHome on your social media, and become a Beyond the Court member for just $55 here.