Sunshine Coast Lightning returns home this weekend as they play the Adelaide Thunderbirds, with neither team dropping a game so far in the season.

With thousands of young netballers flocking to Sunshine Coast Netball Association for the 2023 Senior State Age competition, Lightning is expecting a sell-out crowd at UniSC Arena.

Laura Scherian said she’s looking forward to putting on a quality performance for a large and passionate crowd.

“We’re very excited for this weekend, especially with State Age up here as well. It’s going to be a really full crowd because it’s the first weekend of the school holidays as well. It’s going to be massive and really loud in there — we just love our crowd here on the Sunshine Coast,” she said.

“We love putting out a good performance for our fans, we want to win for them as well as for ourselves, so it feels much better putting in a couple of wins on the board to start the season.

“We’re happy with the brand of netball we’re putting out and enjoying what we’re doing as well. We have such a long way to go in the season and we want to continue to develop our game and what we’re putting out there on court.”

Head Coach Belinda Reynolds said she’s looking to build on the first two rounds of the season to take on a strong Thunderbirds outfit.

“It’s always good to get a good start to the season, it brings out great belief in the team,” she said.

“Thunderbirds have been impressive in the pre-season winning a lot of their games. Obviously they’ve got Eleanor Caldwell and she’s added a different dynamic to their team. They’re going to be really strong this year and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.

“They’ve obviously taken the draw in Adelaide last week so they’ll be keen to get a win on the board this week as will we. We’re expecting a hard four-quarter performance so I think it will be a close game and go down to the wire.”

Reynolds said the plan is to go three from three, providing a golden start for Lightning.

“We know how close the season was last year, so to get wins on the board early is what we’re looking for. We’re just hoping that we will improve on our performance from last game,” she said.

“It’s about looking at our own performances and improving them week-to-week, and we still have so much to build on. I’m confident we’ll be able to improve on our performance throughout the year.”

Shannon Eagland will complete the team of 10 to fill the temporary replacement role for the match this weekend, replacing Tara Hinchliffe.

Sunshine Coast Lightning will play the Adelaide Thunderbirds this Saturday at 6pm at UniSC Arena. Tickets are available via Ticketek or live and free via Kayo Freebies.

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