BALLARAT Pride gets what might be a rare opportunity to chalk up four premiership points in the Victorian Netball League championships division at the State Netball and Hockey Centre tonight.
Federation University Pride has come up empty in it opening four appearances.
However, its opponent Monash University Storm, which features former Pride and Vixens player Joh Curran, has been only marginally better with one win.
Although percentage means even a victory will not lift Ballarat off the bottom, success will put it on equal terms with Storm and provide some confidence going into the first break of the season.
Monash’s only win came in round one when it had the better of Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels.
Pride has had a slower start than it hoped for in a critical campaign, but it is not completely alone.
Monash Uni is one of three teams, with Yarra Valley and DC North East Blaze, with only one win to their name.
Pride has been slow out of the blocks in each game, immediately putting the pressure on as it is forced to play catch-up.
Pride’s most productive first quarter came against Boroondara Genesis in the season opener with 11 goals, and then it was within four goals of City West Falcons with 10.
Each ended up being blow-outs, but a similar start and disciplined defence could make all the difference against Monash Uni, which has been either in front or within close touch early in all its games.
Of course it all comes down to shooting chances. Pride has struggled to get the ball into the hands of its goalers in scoring positions.
Birgitta Nemaric is the main go-to as goalshooter, but she needs to get the ball more often via the centre court of Johanna Dash, Cassandra Peace, Lauren Atkinson and Sharni Godfrey.
A stable line-up, featuring state representative Emma Ryan, is helping the cause, but the time has arrived to convert all this into premiership points.
CHAMPIONSHIP: City West Falcons 16 points, 168.6131 percent; Boroondara Genesis 12, 150; VU Western Lightning 12, 98.1013; Geelong Cougars 8, 118.0124; Southern Saints 8, 95.4248; Peninsula Waves 8, 92.638; Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 4, 92.5714; DC North East Blaze 4, 85.1648; Monash University Storm 4, 84.4828; Fed Uni Ballarat Pride 0, 57.551
DIVISION 1: Boroondara Genesis 16, 164.4628; City West Falcons 14, 139.6947; Southern Saints 12, 146.7213; Peninsula Waves 8, 105.5046; Monash University Storm 8, 96.2963; VU Western Lightning 6, 96.1783; Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 4, 70.1571; Fed Uni Ballarat Pride 4, 67.2811; DC North East Blaze 0, 76.2295; Geelong Cougars 0, 74.4681
19/UNDER: Geelong Cougars 12, 169.4737; City West Falcons 12, 136.2205; Monash University Storm 12, 122.0588; Yarra Valley Grammar Ariels 10, 115.9236; Southern Saints 10, 98.7805; Peninsula Waves 8, 78.5714; Boroondara Genesis 6, 103.75; VU Western Lightning 6, 101.4388; DC North East Blaze 0 75; Fed Uni Ballarat Pride 0, 51.3636