The Melbourne Vixens have recorded an impressive 57-51 victory against the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Round Nine of the ANZ Championship at Margaret Court Arena on Saturday evening.
Karyn Bailey 34/36 (94%)
Alice Teague-Neeld 23/31 (74%)
Carla Borrego 6/8 (75%)
Erin Bell 13/16 (81%)
Kristina Bryce 27/30 (90%)
Stephanie Puopolo 5/5 (100%)
Tonight’s victory extends the Vixens winning streak to two matches and cements themselves inside the top three on the Australian Conference ladder in the race to the finals.
“Last weekend was a crucial match for us because it put us in a position where we are in control. It was important for us to get those two points on the board today against the Thunderbirds, they really made us work for it which was pleasing to see,” Vixens Head Coach Simone McKinnis said.
The Vixens opened the floodgates early on in the first quarter with experienced goaler Karyn Bailey instrumental in attack, helping the Vixens to a 9-3 lead eight minutes after the starting siren.
The 29-year-old Victorian shot 10 from 11 in the opening quarter off the back of some dominant play by Captain Madi Robinson in the mid-court, who collected eight goal-assists in the opening term.
The Thunderbirds came out stronger of the two sides early in the second quarter, with goal shooter Kristina Bryce making an instant impact coming off the bench to help reduce the margin to two goals.
The opposing sides went goal-for-goal throughout the middle stages of the quarter before a late surge saw the Vixens extend their lead to 29-22 at halftime.
Defender Geva Mentor was a pillar of strength for the Vixens in the first half, calculating three rebounds, two intercepts and four deflections.
Putting their bodies on the line at the start of the second half, it was the Vixens who managed to pull away in the third quarter.
Bailey continued with a standout performance in the Vixens’ attacking circle, while Robinson and Liz Watson dominated the mid-court, helping the Vixens to a 13-goal lead.
A late run of goals saw the Thunderbirds reduce the margin to 10-goals at the final break.
Only seconds into the final quarter, Chloe Watson was called on to replace Jo Weston at Goal Defence after an awkward fall saw her leave the court temporarily.
Her departure coincided with a run of goals for the Thunderbirds, with the visitors reducing the margin to seven goals with seven minutes remaining in the final quarter.
With five minutes until the final siren, Weston returned to the court, replacing Geva Mentor at Goal Keeper.
The Thunderbirds crept within five goals of the lead, however, the Vixens held on to secure the two points.
Robinson was awarded the most valuable player award.
Post-match the Victorian Fury were presented the VicSport Team of the Year Award and Head Coach Simone McKinnis was recognised for coaching her 50th ANZ Championship match which occurred in Perth last weekend.
The Vixens will now travel to the Gold Coast next weekend for their clash against defending champions the Queensland Firebirds at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 4 June at 5pm AEST.
Melbourne Vixens' squad v Adelaide Thunderbirds
Saturday 28 May 2016, Margaret Court 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 [54-53 Vixens]
Saturday 28 May: Vixens v Thunderbirds, Melbourne, VIC [57-51 Vixens]
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