Monday, 3 June 2013

Round 13 Preview: MUC v UB Ballarat Pride

Monash University Central v UB Ballarat Pride
State Netball & Hockey Centre, Court 1
Championship (7pm); Division 1 (8.20pm); Under 19s (9.40pm)

This Round 13 fixture poses three very winnable games for all three Monash teams this coming Wednesday night.

Championship defender Georgie Davenport will be looking
to cash in on her recently scintillating performances
against UB Ballarat Pride tomorrow night.

And following three losses in all age groups for Monash against Hume rivals, the City West Falcons, there will be ascent of avengement in the air on Court 1 at the State Netball & Hockey Centre.

LADDER: Central 5th (7-5, 115%); Pride 9th (1-1-10, 58.7%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LWWWL; Pride LLLLL
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 5 (April 3, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Central 70 def. Pride 37

Despite a disappointing loss last week to arch-nemesis the Falcons, Monash will have a world of confidence coming into this clash with Ballarat.

Winless since Round 2, the Pride are lagging in second-last position on the Devine VNL ladder and will be desperate to pull off an upset win as the season works its way into its last third.

It’s not all good news for Monash who will still be without mid-court duo Tegan Ashmore and Lauren Tscharke. Concerns over Sarah Main’s fitness remain after playing just two full games in the past five weeks.

Conversion is a further issue for Central, converting at just 66% last Wednesday. Coach Leesa Maxfield though is confident of things coming together again.

LADDER: Central 4th (7-1-4, 110.4%); Pride 10th (1-11, 59.1%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central WWLWL; Pride LLWLL
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 5 (April 3, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre;
Central 52 def. Pride 24

Like their Championship colleagues, the Monash Division 1 girls will be entering into Wednesday night’s encounter with the view of winning, and winning big.

The Pride are wallowing at the bottom of the ladder, yet have sighted in improvement since their Round 10 (and only) win over VU Western Lightning.

It was the defensive pressure of City West that undoubtedly put Monash on the back foot last week, with coach Jacqui Hansen pointing towards the Falcons’ press-like defence “intimidating” her side.

On a positive note, goalers Shae Gee, Gabrielle Henderson and Tayla Shannon are in great form and the first-half performance of centres Shai Skinner and Michelle Andrews will give them great confidence of putting up a big score on Wednesday night.

Coach Hansen said that given the ladder position, Ballarat wouldn’t be taken lightly and the first focus would be putting the result to bed early.

“It does give us an opportunity do a few things, but the initial focus has to be winning the game first,” Hansen said.

“We’ll be looking to rest a few girls’ bodies, but at the same time, try and implement game structures with a look toward the rest of the season.”

LADDER: Central 8th (3-9, 87.1%); Pride 5th (4-2-6, 89.9%)
FORM (LAST 5): Central LLWLL; Pride DLWDL
LAST TIME THEY MET: Round 5 (April 3, 2013), State Netball & Hockey Centre; Central 44 def. by Pride 47

In a tough back stretch of season 2013 and from a results point of view, there hasn’t been a lot to cheer about for the young Monash side.

Although facing the fifth-placed UB Ballarat Pride – who have had some massive consistency issues – there’s a lot to be intrigued about for the Wednesday contest.

An outstanding second-half effort that saw Monash outscore the top-of-the-table City West Falcons by 2 goals will give the young side great confidence of pulling off a possible win.

Goalers Rhys Carter-Coleman and Natalie Billings are in great shooting form, while coach Robynn Pym said that the switch of ends Ramayer Gourley – from attack to defence – had been pivotal in the team’s overall improvement.

“I’m excited by how hard she (Gourley) and the girls have been working and their constant level of improvement,” Pym said.

“Our focus isn’t totally result-focused, I just want us to keep hitting our goals in terms of our structures and style of play.”

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