The Vixens turn up the heat at the Summer Challenge
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The Melbourne Vixens stormed through the Summer Challenge undefeated this weekend, sending out a warning sign as the team to look out for in the 2013 ANZ Championships.
The Vixens played four matches across the two day event, against the EasiYo Tactix, Adelaide Thunderbirds, West Coast Fever and LG Northern Mystics at the inaugural event.
Vixens head coach Simone McKinnis said the series of practice matches were extremely beneficial for the new look Vixens side.
“They’re tough weekends to get through in terms of managing the player load but really valuable for us, and although we’re still really focussed on what we’re working on, to be able do it in a competitive situation like this has been invaluable for the team,” McKinnis said.
Although the Vixens walked away with four wins, McKinnis described her team’s performance as ‘patchy’.
“There were times where we thought, “fantastic that’s what we’re looking for” and then there were times when that dropped off and we’ve still got that patchiness so consistency is a goal for us.”
The Vixens sported several different line ups in each match, proving that their versatility and depth will be a key strength in 2013. The Melbourne crowd took great delight in seeing Sharelle McMahon play her first full match against the Northern Mystics and developing strong combinations with fellow goalers Tegan Caldwell and Karyn Howarth.
McKinnis said, “Our focus was very much about what we were doing and in terms of our combinations, we’ve got girls that are really capable of playing a number of positions. It was great to see these combinations start to click on court.”
The Queensland Firebirds were the only other team to come through the competition undefeated however the Vixens and the Firebirds did not play each other this weekend.
The must-see game of the event was the rematch of the 2012 Semi Final between the Vixens and the Northern Mystics. It was the Vixens who controlled the match from start to finish, defeating the Mystics in 41-28.
With four weeks until the start of the official 2013 ANZ Championship season, the Vixens will be focusing on fine tuning before they take on the Mystics again in Auckland on March 25.
“We’ll be looking at some defensive strategies but more so fine tuning and adding a few layers to our game,” McKinnis said.
Melbourne Vixens Summer Challenge results:
Saturday 23rd February
Melbourne Vixens 39 v EasiYo Tactix 25
NSW Swifts 28 v Adelaide Thunderbirds 35
West Coast Fever 45 v Northern Mystics 24
Queensland Firebirds 30 v Southern Steel 28
Melbourne Vixens 35 v Adelaide Thunderbirds 27
NSW Swifts 45 v EasiYo Tactix 34
Sunday 24th February
Southern Steel 36 v NSW Swifts 35
EasiYo Tactix 40 v Northern Mystics 25
Melbourne Vixens 41 v West Coast Fever 33
Queensland Firebirds 30
v NSW Swifts 29
Adelaide Thunderbirds 41 v EasiYo Tactix 37
Melbourne Vixens 41 v Northern Mystics 28
West Coast Fever 41 v Southern Steel 40
Queensland Firebirds 38 v Adelaide Thunderbirds 30