BALLARAT Pride will bring up the halfway point of the Victorian Netball League championship season with a repeat encounter against perennial heavyweight City West Falcons.
Tonight’s match at the State Netball and Hockey Centre will mark the second time in seven weeks that the two play, and Pride’s first match since Netball Victoria announced it’s licence rejection.
Federation University Ballarat Pride coach Jo Dash said her players would learn plenty from the first encounter, in which the reigning premier recorded a 57-21 win.
“We played this formidable team in round two and the seven new championship players were given a baptism of fire back then,” Dash said.
“We must play to our strengths in our speed and ball handling and eliminate costly turnovers – which take away from our good passages of play.”
Pride is desperate for a win, with all three teams sitting last on their respective ladders with just one win (division one) between them.
Meanwhile the Falcons’ unbeaten championship squad is sitting atop the ladder, as is the 6-2 division-one side.
Dash said this week’s focus had been on the team’s defensive output.
“We must stick to consistent, full court defence and let the ball go with sharp, strong drives,” she said.
“There are no easy balls and we are shorter across the court and much less physically threatening.”
The club will be boosted by the return of senior players Lauren Atkinson and Cassie Peace, both of whom trained well on Sunday and will add to centre court depth.