MITIAMO coach Laura Hicks is hoping her team can set itself up for a strong second half of the season by overcoming fifth-placed Bridgewater in round nine of LVFNL netball on Saturday.
The Superoos have battled for consistency so far this season, a result of rarely fielding the same seven players from week to week.
Only twice have the Superoos fielded their first-choice line-up, in a round three draw against top-side Marong and a week earlier against Newbridge.
They will again be down two players on Saturday, including Sarah Bateman, but will regain goal defence Abbey Battersby, who missed the Superoos loss to Maiden Gully YCW a fortnight ago.
While the stop-start nature of the season so far - punctuated by Inglewood not fielding an A-grade team - has been a frustration for some, it's come as a bit of a blessing for others, including Mitiamo.
With another league-wide bye next weekend for the Queen's Birthday long weekend, Hicks hopes it gives her team some time to reset for a big second half of the year.
"There will likely be a few B-graders stepping up for their first A-grade game this weekend, but we should have the majority of our team back," she said.
"I'm sure we are still in with a chance.
"Looking at the scorelines Bridgewater has had with other teams, it looks like being a close match."
LAST WEEK'S REVIEW: Calivil United rallies for win over top-placed Marong
The Superoos, currently fourth on the ladder, are yet to defeat another top-five side this season in three attempts, their best effort a draw against Marong.
But Hicks is by no means pushing the panic button.
"It's been hard, only twice have we fielded a full side. So between COVID, the flu, weddings and holidays, we've been impacted most weeks," she said.
"It's only Marong among the top sides that we have played with a full team, so I'm not worried.
"I feel we are right in with a chance of beating some of those sides next time.
"I thought YCW was the standout, albeit I didn't play against Calivil and didn't get a look at them."
Hicks is expecting a tough challenge from Bridgewater, which like Mitiamo, has similarly struggled to get its best seven on the court at the same time this season.
"They have Carly Ladson this season and she is obviously a very strong player for them," she said.
"Bridgy have got some height in attack, which is going to be an issue for us every week, as we are lacking in a bit of defensive height.
"But we know that coming into every game, so we need to work on stopping the ball getting into those tall goalers."
In other games, Newbridge clashes with Calivil United and Maiden Gully YCW hosts Bears Lagoon-Serpentine.
Newbridge heads into its match against the Demons with wins in two of its last three games, as well as a narrow two-goal loss to Bridgewater.
Calivil United bounced back from its only loss this season (against Maiden Gully YCW) to defeat top side Marong 43-40 last week and enters the weekend in third spot on the ladder.
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