2023 VNL | Round 11 preview: Ladder to get another shake up?

TONIGHT is First Nations Round in the Victorian Netball League (VNL), and with it coinciding with the Suncorp Super Netball rounds bearing the same name it is an important week on the netball calendar.

Tonight’s action begins with a seventh versus eighth placed battle between two teams that are quickly running out of time to still be in the finals race. Melbourne Uni is two wins out of the eight and Casey is three wins away, so whoever wins tonight can use it as a springboard to try and get back in touch with the top four.

There are also two top four clashes among tonight’s smorgasbord of matches.

After defeating Geelong in the second Grand Final rematch last week, the City West Falcons have got another tough fight this week with a battle against the second placed Boroondara Express. Last time these two sides met it was a big win to the Falcons, but one thing the Express will not fear, it is a battle with the fellow top sides of the competition.

The percentage gap between the two teams is also incredibly tight, so the margin of tonight’s game could have a huge impact. There is only 1.58 per cent between the two teams at the moment so tonight’s margins could really shake things up.

There is also a third versus fourth battle tonight with the Cougars set to take on the Saints.

In a sign of how close the top of the table is at the moment the Cougars currently sit in third place but have only two losses to their name. They play a Saints side this week who are looking to maintain their much improved season and keep the gap between them and those chasing them trying to get in the top four.

Speaking of that gap, two teams looking to bridge it tonight are the Blaze and the Hawks, who in playing the Ariels and Waves respectively tonight have a big opportunity to even potentially jump into the top four tonight.

Both sides are only one win behind the Saints, and with at most only 9 per cent separating the three teams, if the Blaze or Hawks win tonight the bottom part of the top four could get a real shake up.

VNL Round 11 Fixtures:

Casey Demons vs Melbourne University Lightning

Boroondara Express vs City West Falcons

North East Blaze vs Ariels

Geelong Cougars vs Wilson Storage Southern Saints

Hawks Netball vs Peninsula Waves

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