Match Report | SSN Round 1

Moloney Match Report
11 months ago

The Melbourne Vixens have suffered a narrow loss to West Coast Fever (62-61) at RAC Arena on Whadjuk Noongar country.

The stage was set for a fierce Round 1 battle for the Vixens, starting off the season with a grand final rematch against reigning champs Fever.

Q1 | Fever 17-12 Vixens

It was an aggressive start to the game, with the first goals for each team coming from the other’s centre passes. The teams traded goals for most of the first quarter, which transpired at an incredible pace. Fever found the lead after five minutes of intense play, but Hannah Mundy shone in the midcourt with some smooth passing and four goal assists. Great coordination under the post from Kiera Austin and MJ Kumwenda saw the Vixens stay within reach at the first break.

Q2 | Fever 32-28 Vixens

The Vixens bounced back quickly in the second, with Liv Lewis assuming the role of goal keeper. Kip and MJ quickly reduced the deficit to just one goal within the first five minutes, with the team opting for sharp, flat passes through the court. Just as Fever looked to break away, Liv caused havoc for the team in green, causing a crucial turnover which saw the Vixens level the score. Fever surged again before the break to take a four-goal lead into half time.

Q3 | Fever 48-46 Vixens

The Vixens shot out of the blocks, scoring three consecutive goals to start the second half. Fever re-established their lead, but the defensive combination of Liv and Em Mannix made the Fever work for their goals. The first super shot of the match went to Kip later in the quarter, and momentum shifted to favour the Vixens. With two intercepts to finish the quarter, the difference between the sides was just two goals.

Q4 | Fever 62-61 Vixens

Liv’s defensive pressure continued to have an impact in the last quarter, causing a Fever turnover within the first few minutes. An injury scare saw Em leave the court briefly and squad member Gabby Coffey make her debut, slipping seamlessly into goal defence before Em made her return. Going toe-to-toe throughout much of the quarter, Kip found two super shots to keep the Vixens level until the final thirty seconds, but a final goal from Jhaniele Fowler on the buzzer sealed the win for Fever.

THE NUMBERS

Co-captains Kate Moloney and Liz Watson were workhorses in the midcourt all night, Lizzy finishing the match with 33 feeds and 17 goal assists and Kate racking up three deflections and 21 feeds. Cool and composed under the post, MJ registered 92.5% shooting accuracy for her 40 shots on goal. An intensely physical game with no love lost between the two sides, the Vixens will be left with plenty of positives to take into the rest of the 2023 season - including a debutant to celebrate, with Gab becoming Vixen #61.

NEXT UP

The Vixens return home for the first Victorian Derby of the season, taking on the Magpies away at John Cain Arena on Sunday 26 March. Tickets are available now via Ticketek.

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