WARRNAMBOOL Mermaids’ path to the Big V championship will be different this time around.
The reigning division two premier will have to win on the road if it’s to collect the division one crown.
The Mermaids’ best-of-three series with Casey Cavaliers will start at home on Saturday night.
Game two and, if needed, a deciding game three will be away next weekend.
The fixtures are a stark contrast to 12 months ago when the Louise Brown-led roster won the title in front of a bumper home crowd.
“Obviously it’s a lot nicer a position to win at home in front of your home crowd but we will just take it as it comes,” she said.
“It’s only in Melbourne next weekend so hopefully there will be a few supporters heading down.
“I know a lot of the girls’ families will be there.”
Warrnambool and Casey have split their games in 2018.
The Cavaliers scored a buzzer-beating one-point away win at the Arc in round two.
The Mermaids turned the tables in round 13, notching a 13-point road victory.
But Brown said protecting home-court advantage was vital come finals.
“It’s always a bit harder on the road,” she said.
“We’ll feel a lot more comfortable heading to Casey with a win.”
Warrnambool is hoping for a bumper home crowd on Saturday night with tip off at 6pm.
“We want the stadium to be as full as it can be,” Brown said.
“The louder your home court is, it helps you get over the line.”