Mwai Kumwenda reaches Game 100 against the West Coast Fever

Mwai Kumwenda holds her position.
Mwai Kumwenda holds her position. Credit: Melbourne Vixens

A much-loved member of the Melbourne Vixens in Mwai ‘MJ’ Kumwenda played her 100th league tonight against the West Coast Fever.

Melbourne Vixens coach Simone McKinnis said after the match that the Vixens side was very proud to celebrate Kumwenda’s 100th game as a group.

“MJ has been phenomenal for us,” McKinnis said.

“She’s so passionate about her netball and she’s just a unique player and we said in the change room that we were very lucky and fortunate to have her playing for the Vixens and we sharing her 100th game with her.

“Everybody loves MJ she’s a pretty special person and a pretty special competitor and we’ve seen some really good stuff from her at different time.”

From doing an ACL injury in 2018 to claiming the MVP in the Vixens Grand Final triumph last season, Mwai Kumwenda has become a leader of this Vixens outfit. McKinnis said that Kumwenda wants to share her knowledge around to her teammates.

“I just look at the start of this game, there was nobody louder in that warm-up or prepping for this game than MJ tonight, that energy that passion she brings to training, she brings to everything we do.

“She’s got a heap of experience and she wants to share it and she’s supportive of the young ones as well. She’s been an important part of what we’re doing.”

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From one Vixens champion to another, Liz Watson has taken up a coaching role while she’s recovering from a knee injury that will see her miss the Super Netball Season.

McKinnis said that Watson is still a very valuable member of the Vixens group and is pleased that Watson has made the trip up with the side to the Brisbane hub.

“She’s been great, the same that she does out on court, is that calmness that reading the play, reading the game and she [gives] great feedback and sounding board for the players as well in the group.

“I’m pleased she was able to make the trip with us when we first left Melbourne because it’s a real benefit to have her as part of the group because she wasn’t with us when we were in Brisbane for the first five weeks.

“It’s really valuable to have her as part of the group and she shows her leadership off-court just as much on the court,” McKinnis explained.

In terms of the game itself, McKinnis thought that the game summed up the Vixens 2021 season in terms of the lack of consistency across the four quarters.

“I was quite pleased with the first quarter I thought we had great intensity and purpose around what we were doing in the first quarter.

“That dropped off and we got punished in the 2nd quarter so it was catch up which is very hard against a side like [the] Fever to be catching up on that sort of quarter.

“It’s probably the story of our season so far some good stuff, some patches and some not so good.”

The rest of the Super Netball fixture is unclear, but the Vixens no longer have a game in hand, and all teams are now in Queensland.

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