Defending champions Sunshine Coast Lightning are embracing the joy of travel after successfully chartering the most difficult path to Super Netball's grand final.
Having started the season with three straight losses, the Lightning can claim back-to-back titles if they can overcome West Coast Fever in Perth next Sunday.
To get to the grand final from fourth on the ladder, they had to overcome fierce rivals Queensland Firebirds on their court in Brisbane in the minor semi-final before beating minor premiers the Giants - 59-50 - in Sunday's preliminary final.
The Giants had two chances to secure a spot in the grand final but - like the Melbourne Vixens in last year's inaugural season - they could not make the home-court advantage count.
The Fever will be well rested for the decider, having had the week off after beating the Giants in the major semi-final seven days earlier.
Their regular season meetings suggest there's a thriller in store. The Fever won both of them, but only by one goal each time.
But the Lightning are the team with most momentum after their late season run and insist they won't shy from the challenge waiting at Perth Arena.
"We actually really like travelling together," Lightning goal keeper Geva Mentor said. "We're eager to get over there.
"The main thing is just with our fans being able to come across with us and support us - we've had a great support here in Sydney so we hope to see them get on board."
Lightning assistant coach Kylee Byrne said ability to put pressure on the edge of circle from both directions was a key part of Lightning's success - all important when up against West Coast Fever's powerhouse shooter Jhaniele Fowler, the league's highest scorer by far.
"When you have got Karla Pretorius and Geva Mentor sitting at the back you know you can win ball - it certainly helps, but it's actually the work that everyone is doing out the front." Byrne said.
"That defensive pressure that (centre) Laura Scherian and (wing defence) Maddy McAuliffe put out there to lift the ball in the air and create those opportunities is huge."
"The luxury of having a grand final last year will play into our favour as well. The girls were extremely calm this week and know what is coming at them."
Mentor plucked three intercepts against the Giants while her defence partner Pretorius added a further seven, winning the ball for their midcourt to begin the next attack.
Their hard work was well converted through Diamonds pairing Caitlin Bassett (40/43) and Steph Wood (19/23).
The Lightning defence made Giants veteran Susan Pettitt struggle early, missing six shots amid 14 attempts before the surprise introduction of Kiera Austin (12/16), over usual replacement Kristina Price.
Pettitt would be subbed in for the final minutes to allow her a deserved farewell as she finished up a 17-year career.
Australian Associated Press