US forward Mikaela Ruef returns to face Launceston Tornadoes with Hobart Lady Chargers

Mikaela Ruef has fond memories of her time with Launceston Tornadoes.
Mikaela Ruef has fond memories of her time with Launceston Tornadoes.

Mikaela Ruef has vivid recollections of Tasmanian SEABL derbies from her time with Launceston Tornadoes so knows what to expect as she returns with Hobart Lady Chargers.

And with Saturday’s clash coming as both sides start thinking about finals, the 26-year-old American is expecting plenty of parochial passion at Elphin Sports Centre.

“There was always a rivalry when we played against each other and in case we play again in the finals this will be a good test to see what we need to work on,” Ruef said.

“I remember how pumped everyone was for these games. The Torns really wanted to beat Hobart and now I’m with Hobart it’s just the same here.

“There are always more fans at these games because the rivalry really drives that and I hope it will be the same again on Saturday night.”

Speaking to The Examiner from her new base in the capital, the 191-centimetre forward from Dayton, Ohio, said she is excited about returning to the North of the state.

“I had two great years playing at Launceston but I’m expecting it will be a bit different playing against them. Hopefully the crowd don’t boo me too much and we have a good game.

“They are all good memories. I love my old teammates and all the staff there.

“I’m still close with a lot of the girls there and will hang out with them after the game. We are friends off court but we want to beat each other on it.”

Reuf has been in regular contact with Tayla Roberts and is expecting contact of a more physical nature on Saturday.

“Tay and I will guard each other a fair bit and we know each others moves pretty well. We’re trying not to talk trash but we have been a little bit.”