PREVIEW | VNL Round 13 2024: The end is in sight

THERE is only a month and a half left of the 2024 Victorian Netball League (VNL) season, and faster than Maggie Lind down the court it is now time for all teams to start to think about the end game.

Tonight’s opening fixture looms as an intriguing one to kick off Round 13.

Melbourne Uni and Casey have both had up and down seasons, and while neither side are ruled out of finals, cannot afford to drop any more games this season. The Lightning are only percentage out of finals while Casey are two games behind, but need a massive percentage boost.

One game that will be a little more lopsided is tonight’s second clash between the Express and the Waves.

This match is between the top side on the ladder and the bottom side, and with the Express looking for a percentage boost, perhaps the Waves’ crash comes at a convenient time.

Tonight’s third fixture is between two top four teams, and needless to say, holds great importance for both parties.

The Hawks are currently in fourth place, but have a hefty chasing pack not far off their tail, and they face a Falcons side also wanting to keep the gap they have safely inside the top two, which is currently only one game.

One team that will be desperately wanting a win is the North East Blaze, who sit in third with the worst percentage in the top four.

They face a Saints side buoyed by a losing streak breaking win over the Lightning last week, and are teetering on the edge of still being in finals contention.

The action continues on Friday with a standalone clash in Melbourne’s west between the Warriors and Cougars.

The Cougars have been a little up and down this season compared to their more recent seasons, but sit only percentage out of the finals and would love nothing more than to bank a win and jump into the four.

They face a Warriors side still finding their feet in this competition, but would love nothing more than to beat their more fancied opponents and cause the upset.

This week it is the Strikers who get the bye, who get the chance to have a bit of a breather during an up and down first season in the competition.

VNL Round 13 Fixture

Melbourne Uni vs. Casey
Boroondara Express vs. Peninsula Waves
Hawks vs. City West Falcons
North East Blaze vs. Southern Saints
Western Warriors vs Geelong – Friday at Cobblebank Indoor Stadium

BYE – Bendigo Strikers

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