Sunshine Coast Lightning will take on the Melbourne Vixens at home this Sunday on Mother’s Day for Round 9 of the Suncorp Super Netball.

With Lightning sitting just out of the top four on the ladder, this game will be crucial for the home side to keep their finals hopes alive.

After two losses in a row, Lightning Head Coach Belinda Reynolds said the losses have been tough, but belief among the team is still high.

“The losses do grind you down. We have been so close a number of times but are not getting over the line. While we are proud of our performances, we need to find a way to win,” she said.

“Vixens have been in really great form, but we’ve had some great performances against them and I do believe we can beat them. But again, we’ll have to play that four-quarter performance and bring down our error-rate.”

Ava Black has been elevated for this weekend after Shannon Eagland suffered a ruptured ACL two weeks ago against the West Coast Fever.

“I thought Ava did a great job on the weekend. She came on and was against Australian Diamond squad members in Paige Hadley and Maddy Proud, and she brought extra height and hands pressure as well as speed,” Reynolds said.

Annie Miller reflected on the team’s recent performances compared to the start of the season.

“It’s certainly disappointing coming so close and not getting that win at the end of the game, but I think we’re doing really good things and a win is right on the cusp for us. Some teams have got over us by really having that tenacity to get that win in the end,” she said.

“We had a really good start to the season with those early two wins by quite a large margin but have had trouble with those top teams. I do think we’re right there with them, it’s just about putting out that 60-minute performance.

“Our season certainly isn’t over and B [Belinda] tells us all the time that the season can flip on its head when we get to the latter half of the fixture. So our heads aren’t down, we’re looking to push through and we’re right on the cusp of that top four spot.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning will take on the Melbourne Vixens this Sunday at 2pm at UniSC Arena. Watch live via Foxtel or Kayo Freebies: https://goto.kayosports.com.au/c/4027815/1615055/9635

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