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Bittersweet success looms for Vixens

Vixens co-captain Kate Moloney admits it will be a bittersweet feeling holding aloft the Super Netball trophy at Nissan Arena if her Melbourne side beats West Coast Fever in Sunday’s grand final.If this was a normal season, the minor premiership-winning Vixens would be hosting the match at Melbourne Arena after being the first team to…

Vixens co-captain Kate Moloney admits it will be a bittersweet feeling holding aloft the Super Netball trophy at Nissan Arena if her Melbourne side beats West Coast Fever in Sunday’s grand final.

If this was a normal season, the minor premiership-winning Vixens would be hosting the match at Melbourne Arena after being the first team to reach the decider.

But nothing has been normal about this season.

Due COVID-19, almost the entirety of the 2020 campaign has been played in Queensland.

The Vixens have been in a Brisbane hub for 13 weeks, and while it has helped with team camaraderie, it has been hard being separated from loved ones in Victoria.

“It has been extremely tough in so many ways being away from family and friends,” Moloney said.

“We would love to be playing the final in Melbourne at Melbourne Arena in front of a home crowd, but we know that’s not possible at the moment.

“It’ll just be pretty much us and people that have family and friends in Queensland, so hopefully we’ll have at least a few Vixens supporters at the game.

“We’ll be playing in front of a neutral crowd, and it’ll be different, but we want to make sure we do everything possible so we can bring that trophy home to Victoria.”

Moloney said the Vixens’ ability to “embrace” hub life under coach Simone McKinnis was a key reason for their success this season.

“Simone set the standard really early in saying there are going to be things that work for us, things that will go against us, and it’s going to be about the team that can really embrace it,” she said.

“That’s something we’ve done really well. We’ve had so many obstacles thrown our way, but the girls have been amazing in just not worrying about it and keep moving forward.

“I do believed that winning helps in enjoying the hub environment. That’s been something that’s really worked for us.

“I don’t know what it would be like if things weren’t going your way on court, but we embraced it early.

“We knew it would be tough and that people would have good days and bad days, but it was about trying to enjoying the situation as much as possible because, let’s be honest, hopefully this never happens again.”

The Vixens have the added incentive of sending out retiring attacking pair Caitlin Thwaites and Tegan Philip as winners.

“It’ll be amazing if we can send both Tegan and Caitlin off with a successful last year,” Moloney said.

“We’ll be doing everything we can to make sure we get the win on Sunday.”

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