THERE is no room for comfort for Ballarat Pride 19/unders in the Victorian Netball League.
In a tight competition, every rival is dangerous.
While tonight’s foe Southern Saints sits second bottom on the ladder, the Saints have been known to ruffle some tough Victorian Netball League opponents.
UB Pride secured a 16-goal win against Saints when they met in round five.
That was set up in an 18-7 opening term.
Ballarat coach Kerry Lightfoot said her team must be powering from start to finish tonight, particularly in a 9.40pm game at the State Netball Hockey Centre.
“We need another power start and if we can’t do that we need to hang in and play 60 minutes of good netball. All the bottom teams have improved since the start of the season, so it’s about pushing them to the point where they crack,” Lightfoot said.
“All teams are a threat.
“We’ll be treating all opposition with respect. We don’t want to take anyone lightly.”
Saints beat Geelong by two goals less than a week after Geelong’s tight three-goal loss to Pride late last month.
While the Cougars were missing a key goaler, Lightfoot said it was a stark reminder of the tightness of the competition.
Pride is a game clear in second spot on the 19/under ladder.
A win tonight is important to reinforce their position and a healthy win will be a handy percentage boost.
A win tonight is also key to building momentum for a massive battle next week when Pride will face undefeated top team City West.
Lightfoot said it was imperative her team fine-tune and strengthen their game before meeting the Falcons.
This includes four good quarters of netball, something Pride struggled to produce last week in a 14-goal win against the winless bottom team Western Lightning.
Pride has declared a full roster for selections.
MEANWHILE, Pride’s championship division team will seek to amend a 20-goal loss to Southern Saints in its re-match tonight.
The Saints are ranked third on the ladder with eight wins and four losses.
The winless Pride must aim for more consistency across the court and should take some confidence from finishing within 15 goals of mid-range Lightning last week.