Maryborough looks primed to put its first win on the board when hosting Golden Square (1-3) on Saturday for round five of the BFNL season.
Magpies started the year with tough matches against Sandhurst, Strathfieldsaye and Eaglehawk, but coach Alicia Cassidy believed her team was showing strong signs towards notching its first victory.
"We're definitely improving each week, especially since the opening round," Cassidy said.
"The girls are starting to gel together really well as we had quite a few who hadn't played with each other before this season.
"We're at the stage where we are trying to find the right combinations, but all the hard work is happening at training and hopefully it has set us up to get our first win against Golden Square on Saturday."
The Pies will look to Ella Tranter's leadership in the mid-court alongside Jordan Macilwain who has also showed strong direction on game day.
Cassidy expected a close battle with the Bulldogs who are just above them in eighth position on the ladder.
"Both sides are towards the same end of the ladder and I am sure our goallers will need to work hard against their defenders," she said.
"We believe that we're not a bottom side and we're determined to show the league we are competitive.
"We just need to string four strong quarters together and not falter while making decisions under pressure."
Meanwhile in other games, Sandhurst (3-1) will look to bounce back with a win over South Bendigo (2-1) after the five-goal loss in round four to Kangaroo Flat. (3-0-1).
The Roos are on the road to Tannery Lane to take on Strathfieldsaye (1-3) who head into the round ready to improve on last week's loss to Golden Square.
Kyneton (1-2) are back in business after the bye last round and will host Eaglehawk (1-2) for the annual Pride Cup. Gisborne (3-0-1) has the bye.
Maiden Gully YCW is flying high after a 3-0 start to the season, but will hit the road on Saturday to face the might of Pyramid HIll (3-1).
Eagles coach Jannaya Webb expected a tough battle against the Bulldogs, especially as her side is coming off a break.
"Pyramid Hill has also played very well during the opening rounds of the season and as we're coming off a bye it can always be tricky," Webb said.
"Byes are always good to recover from niggling injuries, but in addition to being on the road this weekend, it's going to make it an even tougher game."
However, the team has shown it has plenty of strength with its undefeated start to the season.
"We've had patches of doing all elements of the game quite well, which includes our goallers playing at their best," Webb said.
"Now our focus is on trying out different combinations with the players available for the game.
"When looking at the structures we don't let other teams dictate what we do, rather we do what we think will work best for us.
"Until we've played all the teams once, it's all trial and error to find the best match-ups which we know will work."
Four rounds down in the competition and the Bulldogs are starting to refine their game-day cohesion ahead of what will be a long season.
"Each game we're seeing positive improvements and learning more about each other and how we play," Bulldogs coach Zoe Kennedy said after the win over Marong.
In the other Loddon Valley games, Bridgewater (3-0) will look to keep its winning streak alive when they host Calivil United (1-3).
Top squad Mitiamo (4-0) will host the determined Panthers (1-2) who will look to put another win on the board after last week's loss to Pyramid Hill.
Inglewood has the bye.
It's the contest the whole Heathcote District netball community has been waiting for, the 2019 grand final rematch between White Hills and Colbinabbin.
The rivals head into the match with identical 3-1 records, both dropping a game to Elmore earlier in the season.
Grasshoppers coach Lou Dupuy expected a tough game from the reigning premiers.
"No doubt they are going to come out firing," Dupuy said.
"They are the same as us in they also lost to Elmore so we're each wanting to get that one-up on each other.
"Either way it's going to be tough, Lauren Bowles is a great coach and leads the girls really well."
Despite the challenge, Dupuy was eager to see how the Grasshoppers compared to the Demons.
"This gives us the best idea possible of where we are at such an early stage of the season," she said.
Dupuy - who is a playing-coach - had seen plenty of positives from the Grasshoppers so far, especially with a slightly new-look team for the 2021 season.
"I've been really impressed with our start to the season as we've had a few younger players come up into A-Grade who are already showing great signs of cohesion," she said.
"This has given me the flexibility to play down in goals.
"It's a boost to have new players who are keen to get out on the court, impress and hold their position."
In the other Heathcote league games, Mount Pleasant (1-2) will host a winless Leitchville/Gunbower (0-4).
Elmore (4-0) will look to send a message to the league that they're the team to beat when they host Huntly (2-2).
Heathcote (2-2) will take on North Bendigo (2-1) who come off a bye, but the week prior only just went down by three goals to White Hills.
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