Launceston Tornadoes' tilt at the NBL1 South title has been shattered, with the season cancelled for the second year running.
Sitting in fifth place with 10 wins and four losses, the Sarah Veale-coached Torns were finals bound but hadn't played since July 11 due to Victoria's ongoing COVID situation.
It's that absence from the court that left Veale "disappointed but not surprised" by the cancellation.
"I think it's definitely been the news that we've expected for the past few weeks," Veale said.
"But I suppose there was always that glimmer of hope that there'd be a miracle somewhere and COVID would disappear a little bit in Victoria and we'd finally be able to get to the end line."
The Tornadoes still have training booked for Thursday night, where they will begin to talk about what's next.
Having been off the court competitively for so long, negotiations for recruitment are already underway and a number of reviews have been completed.
"Because we've had the last seven weeks not to do much, we've used it to review our style of play and our systems and how we'll do things differently next season," Veale said.
"We'll continue to move forward, that's all we can do, get our ducks lined up so we have a better pre-season than this year and we are more organised than we were, learning from this season and moving forward."
With no champion and individual awards to be announced, the Torns' leader said success will have to wait until next season.
"We are such a tight team, the girls get on so well off the court as well as on the court," she said.
"It's been an amazing year in terms of the way we've connected and how well we've gotten on.
"We really have something special and we've had some players come in like Kelsey Griffin, who has said that to us from the get go ... so we really thought we were going to go all the way. "
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