WARRNAMBOOL Mermaids are preparing for a good old-fashioned bus trip as they strive to book a Big V division one grand final spot.
The Mermaids will bundle into a bus on Friday for the six-hour trek to Mildura.
Coach Louise Brown said they had considered flying from Melbourne but costs were “a bit excessive”.
Three players – Melbourne-based Holly Greene, Marli Blackney-Noter and Lily Killey – have booked flights from the city.
Blackney-Noter (work) and Killey (family commitments) will be in Melbourne. Both will travel back with the Mermaids on the team bus.
Brown said Warrnambool, which goes into game two of the best-of-three semi-final series a game up, would hit the road on Friday afternoon or early evening.
They will play Mildura Heat in game two at 6pm Saturday night and, if required, at 1pm on Sunday.
“We’ll go up Friday afternoon or even after work instead of going Saturday,” she said.
“We’ll get there late but at least we’ve got all day Saturday to relax and we won’t be travelling.”
Brown said there was an air of confidence among the Mermaids’ camp following their 88-65 game one win at the Arc.
She is aware the Heat will provide a sterner test on their home court, emphasising the importance of defence.
Mildura is an offensive powerhouse and averaged 82 points a game across its 22 home and away matches.
The Heat only scored in the 60s twice in the regular season, including a season-low 61 against the Mermaids.
Their 65 in game one of the semi-final series was just their third score in the 60s this year.
“I would like to keep them below 66 points to give us a good chance of winning,” Brown said.
“Defensively, as well as we played on Saturday night, I still think we had a couple of lapses at times.
“We’ll try and sharpen up and hopefully keep them to 60 points.
“We’re a good chance if we do that but if we can’t, it will be a tough battle.
“My general rule is we don’t want to give up more than 15 points a quarter and if we can keep them to 12, that’s a bonus.”
The Mermaids pride themselves on their defensive strength, conceding a competition-best 59 points a game during the regular season.
They averaged 67 points for per game but they saved their best offensive display for the Heat in game one, scoring 88 points.