The top half of the Victorian Netball League ladder is within reach of UB Ballarat Pride tonight with its clash against Peninsula Waves.
Pride has a rare opportunity to go two wins from its first three championship division matches for the season, at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.
Injured defender Kara Hart said the feeling at Pride was particularly upbeat following the club’s victory over Geelong Cougars.
She said the positive start to the season had allowed Pride to work on new structures to improve its chances against higher teams.
“Training has been about refining structures because the girls are playing well together,” Hart says.
“Now, because we’re getting the basics right it’s more about working on new things.”
With a final round victory last season, Pride has won two of its last three matches.
Hart will miss tonight’s match due to an ankle injury sustained during Ballarat’s round one’s loss to VU Western Lightning.
She is hopeful of a return in time for Pride’s home game on Sunday at Wendouree Netball Centre against Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.
It means that either Emma Wright or Emma Ryan will have the daunting task of stopping Waves’ goaler Mwai Kumwenda, who scores the lion’s share of Peninsula’s goals.
Wright is usually a goaler herself but has gone back in Hart’s absence.
“We have to cut of supply to (Mwai Kumwenda). Neither Emma Wright or Emma Ryan is as tall as their goaler but they are very athletic and hopefully that can counteract her height.
“Across the rest of the court we are very competitive. The more pressure we put in the centre court the more likely they are going to throw some bad passes to her.”
In a rare role change, it is Ballarat’s 19-under side that will go into its match looking to bounce back after a defeat. Waves are yet to win in the 19-under competition.