The Melbourne Vixens have claimed a strong 11 goal win over the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Round 10 of Suncorp Super Netball to sit a game clear on-top of the ladder.
Turning around a six-goal loss from the last time they played, the Vixens controlled the entire game, leading from start to finish.
The Vixens gained an early three-goal lead, however the quick scoring of Lightning shooter, Caitlin Bassett, saw the scores level again at seven-all.
Regaining the momentum later in the quarter, the Vixens ran out to a six-goal lead, 20-14.
The Vixens continued to surge into the second quarter, gaining a lead of nine before a tactical timeout was called for the Lightning.
Jo Weston and Emily Mannix were smothering in defence, making the Lightning hesitant on the pass into the ring.
At half-time the six-goal margin remained, 38-32.
It was a nerve-racking third quarter, with the Lightning gaining momentum to challenge for the lead.
The Vixens controlled the play early, however the Lightning, off the back of outstanding defensive work by former Vixen, Geva Mentor, were able to reduce the margin to just four goals.
However, a late flurry from the Vixens saw the margin extend to seven-goals going into the final quarter.
There was no stopping the Vixens, with top defensive work from Weston and Mannix aiding the Vixens to a quick nine-goal lead.
With six minutes left a time-out was called by the Lightning, however it did not stem the flow of goals from the Vixens, who managed to run out to a 14-goal lead with a minute to play.
The Lightning fought to the final whistle, with a goal on the siren seeing the Vixens win by 11 goals, 70-59.
Vixens Head Coach, Simone McKinnis, said she was proud of how the team played.
“I think for that consistency across the game - at such a high standard - I think that’s as good as we’ve done for four quarters,” McKinnis said.
“The quality of play, I thought, was excellent from start to finish.”
McKinnis said the thing that impressed her most was the control displayed by the team throughout the game.
“I thought they looked in control in their ability to work the ball, I’m just really happy.”
“The good thing is, and for a group that’s not really been on court a lot at the highest level, their ability to keep that composure and play the ball.”
“They [Lightning] might have gotten a couple in a row, but they [Vixens] just always looked like they were in control.”
Mannix was outstanding for the Vixens, finishing with five gains, three intercepts and four deflections against the league’s most prolific shooter, Bassett.
Mwai Kumwenda also starred in attack, improving from her 28 goals the last time the two teams played, to score 40 goals from 40 attempts at 100% to claim match MVP.
The win means the Vixens have now defeated every team in the competition, and sit on a seven-game winning streak.
The team will now play their second home game in a row, when they take on the Queensland Firebirds next Saturday in a double header.
Vixens shooting statistics
Mwai Kumwenda 40/40 (100%)
Tegan Philip 30/33 (91%)
Lightning shooting statistics
Caitlin Bassett 41/42 (98%)
Stephanie Wood 18/22 (82%)