2022 SSN Season Review: Melbourne Vixens
THE 2022 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season has come to an end, so we now take a look back at each team’s season in retrospect. Today’s team in review is the Melbourne Vixens, who were the 2022 runners-up.
It was almost the perfect fairytale comeback for the Vixens. After winning the flag in 2020, 2021 was a real crash back down to earth for the Vixens, finishing dead last on the ladder. But, 2022 was a very different story.
With a few key additions in from other clubs, the Vixens were back to their 2020 selves. Mostly. More on that later. They never dropped any lower than third on the ladder all season, and were one of the teams to beat all year and were the last to suffer a defeat this season.
The gap between their best and worst was stark. Regardless, they still finished top of the table two games clear of second placed Fever. However, things started to fall apart after that. The Vixens’ best was far from present in the finals, and although they showed moments of brilliance in the preliminary final they were generally below par.
Now although this was never admitted publicly, one cannot help but wonder if the SSN Grand Final decision played on the minds of the Vixens. The timing of the decision certainly lined up with the Vixens shaky form first starting to show.
They still made the Grand Final, which was a huge achievement considering their 2021 season, and there is a lot from this season to be happy around for the Vixens and their fans.
Although they had wins by bigger margins throughout the season, one of their best wins this season came back in round four against the Fever.
It was the first midweek game of the season, and although the Vixens were on the back foot early, they recovered to win by nine and inflict the first defeat on the Fever for the season.
The Vixens’ leaders and midcourt champions Kate Moloney and Liz Watson have been stalwarts of the side for a long time, and both had stellar seasons again. Emily Mannix and Jo Weston also had great seasons, with the pair earning themselves a spot in the Diamonds’ team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
Unlike many of their rivals, the Vixens are going to head in 2023 with the exact same squad as they had in 2022. Olivia Lewis was the only Vixen that came out of contract at the end of 2022, and it was confirmed this morning that she has been re-signed for 2023.