MITIAMO will be minus one of its stars for an intriguing top-two LVFNL netball clash against Bridgewater.
Superoos coach Kylie Piercy confirmed three-time league medal winner Laura Hicks would be an absentee for her side's next two games with family commitments.
Piercy, who is in her second season as coach at Mitiamo, described the star shooter's absence as unfortunate, but welcomed the chance for her side to test themselves against the reigning premiers, who are undefeated after seven rounds.
"We can only stick to our game plan as much as we can and hope for the best," she said.
"They are the benchmark .... and I'd expect them to be somewhere near full-strength.
"But I do have faith in all of our girls, Laura leaves a big divot, no doubt but I have faith in the rest of the team to rise to the occasion."
Mitiamo warmed up for the clash with a big win over Inglewood last weekend. It followed a nine goal loss to Calivil United the week before the inter-league break, the Superoos' sole loss this season.
In contrast, Bridgewater survived a tough clash against Newbridge to win by nine goals.
The Mean Machine, under the new coaching partnership of Shellie Davies and star midcourter Jessey Wilson, have not put a foot wrong all season and can finish the first round of matches with an unblemished record with a win over the Superoos, with a bye scheduled next week.
The teams last met in last season's preliminary final, won by Bridgewater by 10 goals.
Olivia Collicoat and Ellie Wilson come into the game in great form after a standout performances in the win over the Maroons.
In other games, a rejuvenated Bears Lagoon-Serpentine will look to underline its improvement in a tough home battle against Newbridge, Inglewood hosts fifth-placed Maiden Gully YCW, while Pyramid Hill will continue the search for its first win against Calivil United.
The Bears' three wins from six games is already three more victories than last season.
Another victory this week would up the pressure on both the Maroons and Maiden Gully YCW in the race for finals berths.
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