The Melbourne Vixens are a professional netball team based in Melbourne, Australia. Since 2017, they have competed in the Suncorp Super Netball league, which is Australia’s premier netball competition. The team is based in Melbourne and represents the state of Victoria in southeast Australia.
Formation and ANZ
The Melbourne Vixens were one of the original teams in the ANZ Championship. They formed in 2007 as a merger between two former teams (Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Kestrels) and began competing in the 2008 ANZ championship. The Melbourne Vixens play their home games at Melbourne Arena (formerly Hisense Arena and Margaret Court Arena). The arena is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue located in the Melbourne Park precinct.
Inaugural Season (2008)
The Melbourne Vixens made their debut in the ANZ Championship’s inaugural season. Coached by Julie Hoornweg, they finished in fifth place with 8 wins from 13 matches. Although they missed out on the finals, their performance showed promise for the seasons to come.
Championship Victory (2009)
The Vixens had a remarkable season in 2009, securing their first-ever ANZ Championship title. Coached by Norma Plummer, they finished the regular season in second place and advanced to the finals. In the grand final, they defeated the Adelaide Thunderbirds 54-46, clinching the championship.
The Melbourne Vixens consistently remained a strong force in the ANZ Championship, regularly making it to the finals series and challenging for the title. They reached the finals in 2010, 2011, and 2012, finishing as runners-up in 2012 after a closely contested grand final against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.
The Vixens continued their strong performances in subsequent seasons, reaching the finals in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, they finished in third place after losing in the preliminary final. However, in 2014, they emerged as the champions once again under the guidance of coach Simone McKinnis. They defeated the Queensland Firebirds 58-55 in a thrilling grand final to claim their second ANZ Championship title.
Transition to Suncorp Super Netball
The ANZ Championship concluded after the 2016 season, and a new league called Suncorp Super Netball was established in 2017. The Melbourne Vixens, along with other Australian teams, transitioned to the new league, continuing their presence as a prominent franchise.
It’s important to note that the ANZ Championship era ended in 2016, so the Melbourne Vixens’ history in that competition is now part of their overall legacy. Since the establishment of Suncorp Super Netball, the Vixens have remained a competitive team, aiming to build on their past successes in the new league format.
Fans and Feuds
The Melbourne Vixens actively engage with their fans and the broader community. They conduct various programs and initiatives aimed at promoting participation in netball, supporting grassroots development, and connecting with their fan base.
As one of the premier netball teams in Australia, the Melbourne Vixens have developed intense rivalries with other clubs in the Suncorp Super Netball league. Matches against teams like the New South Wales Swifts and the Queensland Firebirds often draw large crowds and generate significant excitement.
McMahon is a former Australian netball player and one of the most prominent athletes in Vixens’ history. She represented the Vixens from 2008 to 2013 and played a pivotal role in their success, including their championship win in 2009.
Watson is a current Australian international player and has been a key member of the Vixens since 2014.
Moloney has been an integral part of the Vixens since 2013 and has served as their captain. She is a versatile midcourt player who has represented both the Vixens and the Australian national team.