The Melbourne Vixens have flexed their muscles in the first two days of Team Girls Cup, recording three straight wins and finishing in top spot in Pool A to book a date with West Coast Fever in Sunday's final.
Playing at the newly redeveloped State Netball Centre in Parkville, the Vixens impressed in front of their home crowd and showcased newly forged connections across the court.
Melbourne Vixens (45) defeated Queensland Firebirds (37)
Game 1 saw us take on the Queensland Firebirds in a tough, high-scoring battle. The Vixens managed to secure a strong eight-goal win after a dominant final quarter from star shooter Rahni Samason.
In the absence of Mwai Kumwenda (health and safety protocols) the combination between Samason and Ruby Barkmeyer was on song, turning up the heat when it counted. The defence was equally impressive with Jo Weston and Emily Mannix combining to quell the impact of Firebirds star Gretel Bueta.
Melbourne Vixens (32) defeated NSW Swifts (26)
With both teams coming off a win, Game 2 was always going to be tight contest. The lead ebbed and flowed, but the Vixens piled on four goals straight in the final stanza to record a six-goal win.
The introduction of Liz Watson in the second half steadied things in the Vixens' attack end. Up the other end the long arm brigade of Emily Mannix and Olivia Lewis kicked into overdrive, with the pair getting plenty of hands to ball and reeling in intercepts. The increase in defensive pressure quashed the attacking movement of the Swifts in the final term, setting the Vixens up to run home and get the win.
Melbourne Vixens (44) defeated Sunshine Coast Lightning (38)
The final pool match of the weekend saw us fly out of the blocks against the Lightning, taking a five-goal lead into the first break. The Vixens maintained their strong defensive intensity and attacking speed until the final whistle to win by six goals, making it three straight wins for the weekend and a top-of-the-ladder finish in Pool A.
Rahni Samason had her eye in from the opening minute, stamping her authority on the Vixens GS bib and combining with Liz Watson for some exciting pieces of play around the circle. Emily Mannix continued her fine form, taking on Lightning young gun Reilley Batcheldor under the post and delivering a steady stream of deflections and intercepts for her side.
Where to from here?
Tomorrow is finals day! Sunday will see the Vixens taking on West Coast Fever at 4.30pm.
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