Strathclyde Sirens Vs Severn Stars
Mel Mansfield leads huddle

Wasps Netball preparing for Saracens Mavericks test

Wasps Netball’s Mel Mansfield believes her team are set for their biggest test so far when they face Saracens Mavericks.

Two-time champions Wasps have opened their Vitality Netball Superleague season with three successive victories – and are still yet to play at their home venue.

Wasps will take on Mavericks in their first game at Ricoh Arena this year on Monday 11 February (7pm centre-pass).

It will mark the first time that the iconic names of Wasps and Saracens have met away from the rugby pitch.

Saracens Rugby bought a 50 per cent stake in the Hertfordshire-based team earlier this year.

Wasps Netball Head Coach Mansfield says confidence is high in the squad following the impressive win last time out against Surrey Storm but they are aware of the major threat posed by Mavericks.

She said: “The players are feeling really good after the win against Storm, our error count was right down and we showed great character to come away winners in that fixture.

“What we’re seeing this year already is that you can’t afford to have an off-day in this league and the reality is that to beat Mavericks we have to be at our best.

“We might have won three games, but we know there is a lot to work on too. We need to tidy up our play and be more clinical in key situations.

“When we get an opportunity to press on, we need to take it.”

Mavericks have enjoyed a successful start to the season with their only loss coming on the opening day against undefeated Manchester Thunder.

Wasps are the only other team remaining with an unbeaten record in the Superleague.

A wealth of talent will be on court on Monday night, including seven England Roses, and Mansfield has been preparing her side to counteract the Mavericks stars.

“Mavericks have got four England players and have one of the strongest squads in the league,” said Mansfield.

“But we know we have a very strong squad too and we will be looking for match-ups that help us combat their strengths.

“It’s been a long time since we played at Ricoh Arena and we can’t wait to be back in front of our home fans. With so many top players on display across both teams it should be a fantastic showcase of netball.”

Tickets for Wasps Netball vs Saracens Mavericks on Monday 11 February are available from www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets.

Tickets are also now available for the Vitality Netball Superleague Big Easter Weekend!

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

twitter-In-Stream_Wide___Getty_20181211_4648

George Fisher wins inaugural Vitality Player of the Month Award

We are delighted to introduce the Vitality Player of the Month Award that will run through the 2019 season. This will be a monthly award to recognise individual performances over a calendar month.

The January 2019, and first ever, winner of the award is George Fisher.

With Fisher leading the attack, Saracens Mavericks finished January as the league’s highest scorers. Fisher has formed a strong partnership with Kadeen Corbin, together putting defences on the back foot and helping to fire Saracens into early contention to finish in the top four.

In the second game of the season against Surrey Storm, Fisher finished the game with her shooting stats sitting at a sensational 98% success rate – only missing one shot out of the 44 she took.

The 20-year-old Vitality Rose mainly features as goal shooter but can also play at goal attack. She has also played for Turnford Netball Club and Wasps Netball.

You can see George and her Saracens Mavericks teammates in action on Monday as they travel to her former team and defending champions, Wasps Netball. The fixture will be live on Sky Sports and coverage starts at 6:45pm.

Their next home game is on Saturday 16th February against Team Bath. You can buy tickets here: https://www.mavericksnetball.co.uk/tickets/buy-match-tickets/

Tickets are also now available for the Vitality Netball Superleague Big Easter Weekend!

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

Sophie Drakeford-Lewis Lboro 2018

Team Bath Netball back on the road

Team Bath Netball return to Vitality Netball Superleague action following their weather-enforced break on Saturday when they visit old rivals Loughborough Lightning (6pm).

The teams sit fourth and fifth in the table, level on six points although Lightning have played a game more following the postponement of Team Bath’s home match against Severn Stars last week following heavy snow.

Lightning, who are coached by former Blue & Gold star Sara Bayman, have had a mixed start to the season but have won both of their home matches so far, including Saturday’s impressive 60-49 victory over Strathclyde Sirens.

Team Bath won on their last visit to the Sir David Wallace Sports Hall, in the final match before last year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and will be keen to bounce back quickly from a home defeat to Surrey Storm on their last outing.

Jess Thirlby, Team Bath Netball Head Coach, said: “We have had some memorable encounters against Loughborough Lightning over the years, dating right back to the very early days of the Superleague.

“They have finished as runners-up in each of the last two seasons and while they have had some changes in personnel, including the departure of shooter Peace Proscovia to Australia, we know it is going to be another tough encounter this weekend.

“We’ve had a really positive week in training and are looking forward to getting back out on court and righting the wrongs of our performance against Storm.”

Meanwhile, tickets have sold out for Team Bath’s next home game against defending champions Wasps Netball on Friday, February 22 and just a handful remain for the visit of Manchester Thunder on Friday, March 1 (7.30pm). Visit netball.teambath.com/fixtures to purchase tickets.

Tickets are also now available for the Vitality Netball Superleague Big Easter Weekend!

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

Maryka Holtzhausen 1 - clivejonespr.com

Patience is Key, Says Severn Stars’ Captain

Severn Stars’ Captain, Maryka Holtzhausen, says patience will be key as her team looks for its second win of the season, when they take on Manchester Thunder this weekend.

The South African star, who missed the first two games due to international duties in the Quad Series, made a winning return in her first game back, against Celtic Dragons.

Holtzhausen says for the team to continue their winning ways against second-placed side Thunder, on Saturday (February 9, 6pm), they must be patient in both attack and defence.

“Our match against Thunder will be a good challenge for us,” she said.  “They are a team who have been playing together for a long time. One of their strengths is their patience with the ball on attack and relentless defence.

“Patience is key for us – on attack and defence. On attack we will need to keep possession, no matter how hard we need to work to get it to goal, and on defence we will need to be patient, trusting our structure and work hard till we turn ball over.”

This will be Stars’ second home game of the season, and its first at the University of Worcester Arena, its home venue for the last two seasons.  This year matches are being played at both the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, who co-own the franchise

After snow saw last week’s match against Team Bath postponed, Stars will be hoping to pick up where they left off two weeks ago, when they sealed their first win of the season against Celtic Dragons 57-40, at the University of Gloucestershire Arena.  Thunder will come to the game full of confidence too, having won all three of their matches so far this season.

“We’re excited to be back at the University of Worcester Arena, and hoping to get a win for the fans there as well,” said Holtzhausen. “There is a great atmosphere in the squad, especially after a great home win. And having our match against Bath postponed due to snow has really got us excited about getting out there again.

“Although we would like to have played last week that is how it is. We can only be positive about it and see it as an extra week of training to improve in all areas of our game plan. I can’t wait to get out there for our next match though.”

She added that, in order to back up their first win, Stars were continually looking to improve.

She said: “It’s great to train in such a positive environment.  Obviously there are still many things we would like to improve on and be better at going into the next game, but we are working on doing those things better in training every week.  I believe a good aim is continued improvement, sticking to structures and implementing the game plan each week. If we stick to what we do best the results will speak for themselves.”

For tickets visit www.ticketline.co.uk/netball-superleague-severn-stars#bio

Tickets are also now available for the Vitality Netball Superleague Big Easter Weekend!

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!