Flyers and Spirit to open WNBL 2021/22 season

The 2021/2022 Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) season kicks off this weekend, and after a condensed hub season in 2020 things are getting back to normal this season.

With border closures still causing headaches for all involved, only two matches are fixtured for the opening weekend.

On Saturday the Southside Flyers kick off their title defence playing host to the Bendigo Spirit. The other match sees the battle of the Froling twins as the Sydney Uni Flames take on the UC Capitals.

  • Team
  • Southside Flyers
  • Bendigo Spirit

The cellar dweller from last season meets the reigning champions at Dandenong Stadium as the Flyers take on the Spirit. These two sides met only once last season, and it was a comfortable win for the Flyers 102–60.

Despite being the reigning champions, the Flyers have had an eventful off season, losing quite a lot of talent. The likes of Liz Cambage, Monique Conti and Stephanie Blicavs are all not returning this season, but the Flyers have recruited well to offset those losses.

Among the new faces include Maddison Rocci and Abby Bishop who will walk into the starting five and any five that also features the likes of Sara Blicavs, Jenna O’Hea and Rebecca Cole is going to be competitive.

Bendigo on the other hand will be desperate to start the season on a high and end their losing streak after not winning a game last season. There is also an extra little bit of spiciness in this clash then this match up was last season, as Leilani Mitchell comes up against her old side for the first time.

Mitchell will be joined by fellow recruits Madeleine Garrick and Anneli Maley to strengthen the line-up, with the Spirit capable of causing some big upsets this season.

  • Team
  • Sydney Flames
  • UC Capitals

Another state-based rivals clash sees the Sydney Uni Flames taking on the UC Capitals. These teams played once last season, resulting in a win to the Capitals 68–63.  

There is an extra little bit of spiciness in this clash then this match up was last season. Keely Froling and Alicia Froling are coming up against each other on opposing sides. Both sisters are also at new sides this season, as Keely came up from Bendigo and Alicia will be coming up against her old side after crossing from the Flames.

The Flames have assembled an exciting squad that includes the likes of Shyla Heal, Lauren Mansfield and Stephanie Watts who make it an incredible starting five that will worry the Capitals. UC has history on its side and is never too far away from challenging, thought will have a new-look outfit this season with plenty of changes.

Jade Melbourne is one to watch for the Capitals, as well as veteran Kelly Wilson as the recent two-time champion and last year finalist will be looking to get off on the right not in this contest.

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