From milestone matches, defensive masterclasses and nail-biting wins, the Vixen's 2023 season had plenty of highlights!
Celebrations were all around in 2023, with four players and two coaches reaching significant milestones in their SSN careers.
Kiera Austin played her 50th national league game in Round 5, her first 29 coming as a GIANT before heading south to join the Vixens in 2022.
Kate Moloney became the first Vixen to play 150 games for the club in Round 8, celebrating her milestone with a thrilling win over West Coast Fever at John Cain Arena.
Emily Mannix notched up her 100th match in Round 12;. both Kate and Emily have played all their national league games as a Vixen.
Moving east for the 2022 season, West Australian native Liv Lewis played her 50th Super Netball game in the last home and away game of the season in Sydney.
Simone McKinnis and Di Honey each coached their 150th national league games in Rounds 1 and 11 respectively.
Three wins after the whistle
The Vixens won nine fourth quarters in their 2023 home and away campaign, with three wins sealed by a super shot after the whistle.
In Round 2, MJ Kumwenda kept her cool under the post to help the Vixens chase down an eight-goal deficit against the Magpies. Sinking two crucial super shots in the final two minutes to win the game in dramatic fashion, she dominated in the white arc with 100% accuracy for the match.
In another nail-biting finish at home, Kiera Austin’s late super shot snatched victory from West Coast Fever in a high-scoring affair. After a physical match full of lead changes and momentum swings, the winning shot ignited a roaring home crowd at John Cain Arena.
The very next week, Kiera repeated her heroics and sealed a win on the road for the Vixens against the Sunshine Coast Lightning. Her fourth super shot of the day saw the Vixens hold off a surging Lightning outfit to claim a 62-61 win.
Mannix’s Round 10 masterclass
Facing ladder -leaders the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Round 10, the Vixens needed to pull out something special to continue their winning streak at John Cain Arena. The home crowd was treated to a defensive masterclass from Vixens goalkeeper Emily Mannix.
In a stunning MVP performance which saw her earn 120.5 Nissan Net Points, Emily spearheaded the Vixens’ defensive effort with her relentless pressure, fantastic footwork, and closing speed.
Supported by Jo Weston and Kate Eddy, she was able to read the play and place herself in the perfect position to shut down the Thunderbirds’ attack end. With 11 gains, 8 intercepts, 3 rebounds and 6 deflections, her impact on the match was immense, and spurred her side to a stunning 21-goal victory.
MVP Mundy shines in Brisbane
In a see-sawing battle against the Queensland Firebirds in Round 12, it was Hannah Mundy who burst onto court for a season-best performance at wing attack.
Driving forward and owning the space around her, Hannah was deadly from the transverse line to circle edge. Her vision and connection with MJ was near unstoppable, finishing the match with an impressive 46 feeds and 28 goal assists to her name.
Maintaining a high level of energy throughout the full sixty minutes, she and co-captain Liz Watson were dynamic through the midcourt despite the seven- goal loss.
The final Magpies derby
Round 13 saw the Vixens play their final game at John Cain Arena for the season, and their final clash against cross-town rivals the Collingwood Magpies.
The last battle between the long-time foes was fought with passion and physicality, each team wanting to make their last meeting a match to remember.
In a spectacular full-court performance, the Vixens emerged victorious against a firing Magpies outfit. MJ and Kiera shone in the circle against the formidable pairing of Geva Mentor and Jodi-Ann Ward, shooting at a combined 96% accuracy and sinking seven super shots between them.
The Vixens defenders kept the pressure high, ensuring the Magpies couldn’t extend on their early lead. Co-captains Kate and Liz ensured the connections were sharp through the midcourt and no loose ball went unchased, spurring the Vixens to a 38-goal second half, and a nine-goal win.
A spectacular match to end a fierce rivalry, the 9,000-strong crowd showed their gratitude with a standing ovation as the Magpies bid farewell to John Cain Arena.
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