The Melbourne Vixens have gone down 42-57 to friendly rivals the New South Wales Swifts in their opening match of the 2016 ANZ Championship Sunday afternoon at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.
Karyn Bailey 20/24 (83%)
Alice Teague-Neeld 17/22 (77%)
Emma Ryde 4/7 (57%)
Kim Commane 1/2 (50%)
Disappointed with the Melbourne Vixens opening performance, Head Coach Simone McKinnis said, “I’m obviously disappointed and I expected more from us. I don’t think we took the game on from the word go. The Swifts went hard right from the start and we just didn’t respond to that, we sort of went into our shells a bit.
“Today’s result is not what we were hoping for, not what we were expecting, not what we’ve worked for and everyone’s a little bit disappointed in ourselves.”
Speaking about areas to improve before Round Two, McKinnis added, “We’ve identified some key things and it comes back to the belief. It’s what we have been doing so well and what has been working is when that pressure is really on, that got shaky today.
“It’s a good game for us to start on because it’s one of the leading teams in the competition. There’s enough for us to move forward with, however, overall really disappointed but we have to move forward.”
New South Wales’ Caitlin Thwaites opened the floodgates for the Swifts, however, their opening goal was quickly retaliated by Melbourne Vixens youngster Alice Teague-Neeld.
Featuring high-intensity levels from the Swifts in the first quarter, numerous turnovers came and went for the Vixens, however, it was ultimately their execution in the circle that failed them and had them trailing behind 9-16.
During the second quarter, ANZ Championship debutant Emma Ryde replaced Karyn Bailey before Jo Weston left the court and had Chloe Watson step-in to replace her.
Ryde managed to outplay the Swifts energetic defender Sharni Layton on several occasions, finding the net and adding to the Vixens tally.
Struggling to break through the Swifts defence late in the third quarter, the Vixens’ combinations weren't connecting, allowing the Swifts to extend the lead 31-18 moments before halftime.
Back on the court after the halftime break, Kate Moloney made a quick interchange with captain Madi Robinson, however, the change wasn’t enough to catch the home side who were out in front 44-27.
With no alternations made to the team in the final 15 minutes of play, the Vixens were digging deep, however, unable to fault the Swift’s clinical ball movement, the hosts finished atop with a 15-goal victory, 57-42, claiming the Sargeant-McKinnis Cup for Round One.
The Vixens will face the Thunderbirds in Round Two of the ANZ Championship at the Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide next Sunday at 12:00pm AEST. This match will be shown live on Fox Sports, Channel Ten and Netball Live.
The Vixens last competitive meeting against the Thunderbirds was in Round Four of the 2015 ANZ Championship, where the Vixens narrowly went down to the Thunderbirds 45-47.
Melbourne Vixens’ squad v NSW Swifts Sunday 3 April 2016, Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre Started
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
Saturday 16 April: Vixens v Firebirds, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 1 May: Vixens v Magic, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 9 May: Vixens v Tactix, Christchurch, NZL
Sunday 15 May: Vixens v Swifts, Melbourne, VIC
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
Fox Sports will show all of the ANZ Championship matches live in Australia. Please check your local television guide for Channel Ten broadcast times.
Follow the team's results on Twitter by following @MelbourneVixens and using #PowerTogether.