MONASH University Central will brace themselves for a nail-biting Victorian Netball League game against VU Western Lightning at Monash University tonight.
Central coach Leesa Maxfield said the team would need to step up to the Lightning's strong defence.
"They're very good defensively. They're weighted by having some of the best defence in the competition," she said.
With the Lightning defeating Central 34-33 in round eight, a close match is expected. "They're always very close games that are usually decided in the last minutes," Maxfield said.
"I just want our girls to play by the game plan and just put it out there and trust it, which is what we did when we were playing Peninsula Waves."
Last Wednesday, Central delivered a 14-point win over last-placed Ballarat Pride, despite a below-average game.
The team fought without several starting players, including defenders Kate Yensch and Helen Barclay and shooters Stacey Northey and Lauren Bennett.
The team performed well despite the loss of players, winning 52-38.
"It was about controlling the game and doing what we had to do" Maxfield said. "We made a lot of errors and didn't shoot well, but we did what we had to do."
Maxfield said the team didn't necessarily cave under pressure but needed to improve their finesse passes and decision-making.
Monash University Central plays VU Western Lighting at Monash University gymnasium, Clayton Campus tonight at 7.30pm.