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Linda Pearce

Linda Pearce is the Chief Tennis Writer and general sports reporter for The Age. She writes about a range of sports, including football, netball, and gymnastics. Linda has twice been named Australian tennis writer of the year.

 Melbourne Vixens Head Coach, Simone McKinnis,  . (Photo by Chris Hopkins/Fairfax Media)

Vixens lose top spot, keep the faith

Melbourne Vixens coach Simone McKinnis does not believe some kind of pre-finals let-down was inevitable after a stellar eight-game winning sequence, but nor does she think last Sunday's round-12 loss that conceded top spot to the Giants has come without a potential silver lining.

The Austalian team enjoy their win.

Commonwealth Games magic moment: 1998 netball gold medal game

Although the tiny venue felt more like a school gym than an elite sports stadium, and while other Commonwealth Games netball finals (Manchester, Delhi) have been closer and more dramatic, there was something particularly significant about the 1998 gold medal game between - naturally - Australia and New Zealand.

Melbourne Vixens' Mwai Kumwenda shoots against the Lightning.

Vixens confirm top spot, flag favouritism

For all the disquiet surrounding the entry of privately-owned teams to the new Super Netball competition, the noise being made by the Melbourne Vixens continues to silence all those who had questioned the readiness of the proud establishment-owned club.

Lightning captain Geva Mentor is happy to help the younger generation of players.

Always a Mentor, still a star

If Geva Mentor did not teach the young Vixens defenders everything she knows, then Melbourne's beloved former premiership player happily shared all that she could.

Outspoken netball board critic Liz Ellis.

Netball officials discussed commentary censorship

Senior netball officials suggested making an unprecedented attempt to influence the broadcast coverage of player protests staged at last weekend's round of Super Netball matches, by limiting the input of high-profile commentator and outspoken board critic Liz Ellis in particular.