WESTERN Phantoms will try to rebound from a disappointing loss to Eastside Hawks at the weekend with a strong showing against the Melbourne Uni Renegades tomorrow.
The team followed up what coach David Berry described as its 'best performance' of the season against ladder-leader Yarra Ranges, despite a three-set-to-one loss at the hands of the Hawks.
It was especially disappointing given the team beat the Hawks by straight sets earlier in the season.
The Phantoms have now dropped to second-last on the ladder with four wins and nine losses a rapid fall after being in finals contention three rounds ago.
Co-captain Matt Berry said the side had been out-performed on the day.
"It was disappointing to lose to a team that was even with us going into that round, but we're still happy with how the year has gone overall," he said.
"We haven't had the same team from week to week once this year and we still have a lot of players missing so it was tough for us."
Berry said the team had still performed better than expected in his first year of premier division competition and had proved it belonged there.
He said a win against the Renegades would be a fitting way to end the year.
There was better news for the men's reserves team, which snuck into the finals in dramatic fashion with a straight-sets win over Latrobe Valley at the weekend.
Sitting fourth on the ladder entering the final round of the season, the reserves needed to beat the fifth-placed side and powered home to easily win.
With the premier division side out of contention, several players have dropped back to bolster the reserves line-up and Berry said the team was a big chance for the premiership.
"They're a huge chance to take it all out and I'd be disappointed if they didn't make it to the big dance," he said.
The reserves women will miss the finals but have acquitted themselves admirably after moving up from division two at the start of the year.
The side defeated Dandenong Cossacks to move to 5-6 for the year and have a chance to finish the season with an even win-loss record against Eastside Hawks at the weekend.
The division two men's and women's teams both face tough double-headers at State Volleyball Centre in Melbourne.
The men's side can still make the finals if it defeats top team Mazenod and bottom team Eastside Hawks, while the women will play Eastside Hawks Red and Latrobe Valley in two winnable games to close out the season.