Western Phantoms' women's finals hopes on the line

FINALS hopes are on the line for the Western Phantoms’ women’s division two side in the final round of the Volleyball Victoria state league competition at Horsham Basketball Stadium tomorrow.

The side needs to beat Melbourne University Renegades to secure a place in the top four.

A loss could signal the end of its season, depending on how other results fall.

Phantoms coach David Berry said he backed the team to beat their sixth-placed opponents.

When these two sides met earlier in the season, the Phantoms fought back from a 2-1 deficit to win 15-12 in the fifth set.

“That just shows the fighting quality of our girls,” he said.

Berry said the team would be at full strength and needed to focus on playing its own game.

“We’ve done everything right going into the game,” he said.

“I’m just hoping the girls are not feeling too much pressure to win.

“I don’t want them to play safe, hopefully they can play instinctively.”

Berry hopes to see a big crowd show support for the young team, which is in its inaugural season of the competition.

This is the final time Wimmera fans will have the chance to see the Phantoms play at home this season.

“We’re hopeful there will be plenty of support from the crowd to help get the girls home,” Berry said.

“If they can get into finals, we know they can make an impact. I’ve got my fingers crossed for them.”

Berry said spectators would be treated to some high-quality volleyball, with the men’s division two match a top-of-the-table clash between the Renegades and Phantoms.

Both sides are secure in the top two, meaning this match is a semi-final preview.

“It’ll be a chance to get a good look at Renegades, especially knowing we’ll also be playing them next week,” he said.

“Adrian Fox is back in the team and they’ll be looking for Chris Radford and Brady King to have an impact.”

The Phantoms’ men’s reserves side sits in top spot and can secure the minor premiership with victory against the seventh-placed Renegades.

The Western Phantoms are taking part in Call to Arms, a Cancer Council initiative to raise awareness of men’s health, and will wear yellow arm bands for their matches.

Matches start from 4pm.

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