Strathclyde Sirens Vs Severn Stars

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Sam Bird - clivejonespr

Severn Stars look to bounce back against Surrey Storm

Severn Stars will look to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat when they take on Surrey Storm on Saturday (16 February).

The Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) side will be playing their second home game at the University of Gloucestershire Sports Arena (6pm centre pass), with another sell-out crowd expected.

Stars’ were left frustrated when they lost to Manchester Thunder at the University of Worcester Arena last Saturday (9 February) by 49-62. Head Coach, Sam Bird, has been working on a number of strategies during training this week to put in a successful performance in front of a home crowd.

Severn Stars’ Head Coach, Sam Bird, said: “We will be looking to expand the periods of very good play we put out against Manchester Thunder on Saturday. We have been working on our strategies to give ourselves the best chance to perform strongly against Storm and we are looking forward to the match.

“The last game at Gloucester was great in terms of the crowd being very close to the courtside and creating a great atmosphere for us to play in. We hope to use the home support to our advantage this week.”

Bird added: “Both teams have South African import players so will be familiar with the style of play and each other’s preferred way to play.”

The Severn Stars are a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire.

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

Tickets are 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!

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!

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!

Katie Harris

Katie Harris prepares for first return to Storm

Wasps Netball’s Katie Harris is ready for an “emotional” return to the club she called home for eight years.

The Black and Golds have started the Vitality Netball Superleague season with back-to-back wins and will look to continue their unbeaten start when they travel to Surrey Storm on Saturday 2 February (6pm centre-pass).

Harris joined Wasps from Storm last summer and has started both games at goal attack this season.

She has re-formed her partnership with Rachel Dunn, who she played with during her time at Surrey, and says she is already improving with the guidance of her new coaches and teammates.

“It’s going to be quite emotional for me going back to Storm,” said Harris.

“I have some great memories of my time there and I’m still good friends with everyone there, but my focus is completely on Wasps now and those friendships will be put to one side when we’re out on court.

“I’m really enjoying my time at Wasps so far, my teammates have been very supportive since I arrived. I feel like I’ve improved as a player already, especially on the technical side of my game.

“It’s been great playing with Rachel Dunn again too. We know we need to make that combination the best it can possibly be, so that is a big focus for us every week in training.”

Storm travelled to Team Bath and secured their first Superleague win under new director of netball Mikki Austin last weekend.

Wasps currently sit top of the table on goal difference and are one of only two undefeated teams remaining.

The fixture will also mark the third contest of the Tom Reseigh Trophy, which honours the former Storm team manager who passed away in October 2016 following a long battle with cancer.

“The match is in memory of Tom Reseigh, which is really important to a lot of us and is a great recognition of everything he did for the game,” added Harris.

“It’s a period of change at Storm but Mikki Austin has done well to assemble a talented squad there, who achieved a huge win against Bath.

“We know it will be a big challenge and they always have a great crowd at Storm too.

“We have worked really hard in pre-season and we’re starting to see results on the court, but we know we have a lot of work to do, with the league being so strong from top to bottom this year.”

Wasps Netball return to Ricoh Arena to take on Saracens Mavericks on Monday 11 February (7pm centre-pass).

Season Memberships are now on sale, and individual tickets for the first six home Vitality Netball Superleague fixtures of the 2019 season are also available.

Visit www.waspsnetball.co.uk for more information.

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!

Photo credit: Clive Jones