The Melbourne Vixens have gone down to the New South Wales Swifts in Round Seven of the ANZ Championship at Hisense Arena Sunday afternoon.
Karyn Bailey: 27/34 (79%)
Alice Teague-Neeld: 17/22 (77%)
Kimberley Commane: 7/9 (78%)
Caitlin Thwaites: 35/39 (90%)
Susan Pettitt: 24/27 (89%)
It was an improved performance for the Vixens against the Swifts after going down by 15-goals in their Round One clash earlier this year.
Vixens’ Head Coach Simone McKinnis was pleased with the team's first half performance but lamented their inability to maintain their intensity for a full four quarters.
“I thought that we played particularly well in the first half, there was some good quality netball across the board and I thought that we played smart and strong, however, we didn’t play that through for the full four quarters,” McKinnis said.
It was a frenetic opening quarter with both teams showcasing high intensity levels while going goal-for-goal.
The combination of Karyn Bailey and Alice Teague-Neeld proved difficult for the Swifts defenders to shutdown, with the pair shooting 17 from 20 in the opening quarter.
Mid-courter Liz Watson was instrumental in setting up opportunities for her teammates with five goal-assists as the Vixens led 17-15 at quarter time.
The Vixens continued their momentum early in the second quarter, opening up a four-goal lead before the Swifts went on their own run to level the score 21-all.
The Swifts dominated the middle stages of the quarter, setting up a three-goal lead moments before Bailey hit target on several occasions. The Vixens trailed 28-29 coming into the second half.
After the main break, the Swifts came out firing, extending their lead to five goals early in the third quarter.
McKinnis ringed the changes throughout the term, introducing Chloe Watson and Kim Commane at different stages.
The Swifts were simply a class above, with the defensive pairing of Sharni Layton and Maddy Turner helping restrict the Vixens to just nine-goals for the quarter.
Up the other end, Caitlin Thwaites was a pillar of strength, shooting 10 from 11 to help increase the Swifts lead to 44-37 at the final break.
An early run of goals at the start of the final quarter saw the Vixens get within five of the lead before the Swifts pulled away to retain the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup with an eight-goal victory.
The Vixens will now face a season-defining match in Round Eight of the ANZ Championship against the West Coast Fever in Perth on Saturday 21 May.
Melbourne Vixens’ squad v NSW Swifts
Sunday 15 May 2016, Hisense Arena
Karyn Bailey (GS)
Alice Teague-Neeld (GA)
Madi Robinson (WA)
Liz Watson (C)
Kate Moloney (WD)
Jo Weston (GD)
Geva Mentor (GK)
Did Not Play
Fixtures & Results
Sunday 3 April: Vixens v Swifts, Sydney, NSW [42-57 Swifts]
Sunday 10 April: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Adelaide, SA [59-44 Vixens]
Saturday 16 April: Vixens v Firebirds, Melbourne, VIC [47-58 Firebirds]
Sunday 1 May: Vixens v Magic, Melbourne, VIC [57-34 Vixens]
Monday 9 May: Vixens v Tactix, Christchurch, NZL [69-48 Vixens]
Sunday 15 May: Vixens v Swifts, Melbourne, VIC [51-59 Swifts]
Saturday 21 May: Vixens v Fever, Perth, WA
Saturday 28 May: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 4 June: Vixens v Firebirds, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday 12 June: Vixens v Mystics, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 19 June: Vixens v Fever, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 25 June: Vixens v Steel, Invercargill, NZL
Monday 4 July: Vixens v Pulse, Wellington, NZL