Melbourne Vixens suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday night, defeated by Sunshine Coast Lightning 71-58 at USC Stadium.
Playing our third game in eight days we struggled to fire for a full four quarters against a clinical Lightning side.
It was an intense first quarter with momentum swinging back and forth in the early stages of the game. We pushed out to a five-goal lead in the final five minutes thanks to some super shooting from Kiera Austin, but the Lightning attacking end of Cara Koenen and Steph Wood reduced the deficit to just two.
The Lightning came out hard in the second term, upping the defensive pressure. Laura Scherian was vital around circle edge with Wood and Koenen benefitting from her accurate feeds. Head coach Simone McKinnis brought Rahni Samason into the game in goal shooter and Olivia Lewis into goal keeper moments later in an attempt to halt their momentum as we went into the main break down by two goals.
We made a number of changes to start the third term with Hannah Mundy starting in centre and Kate Moloney switching into wing defence. The lead ballooned out to as much as 12 heading into three quarter time thanks to some strong defensive work from Tara Hinchliffe and Kate Walsh.
Looking for an answer to the Lightning’s dynamic midcourt, Liz Watson moved into centre and Mundy switched into wing attack. Mwai Kumwenda and Austin continued to work hard, while down back Jo Weston and Emily Mannix struggled to combat Wood and Koenen. We got it back to within 10 thanks to some Samason magic before the Lightning closed the door.
We return home for Round 6 against Adelaide Thunderbirds next Saturday 23 April. Tickets are available now via Ticketek.