The Orange Army stunned the Maroon Machine with a come-from-behind victory over defending champions Maties in the first match of the last bumper weekend of the 2023 Varsity Netball tournament.
In the other matches at the Maties Coetzenburg Indoor Centre in Stellenbosch, UP-Tuks comprehensively beat debutants Wits, UFS-Kovsies brushed past UWC and NWU had no problems against Madibaz.
UJ 35-32 MATIES
A strong fightback from UJ shocked Maties when the visitors beat the defending champions 35-32 on home soil. It was clear evidence of the log standings, with UJ in third and Maties in fourth.
The match started with a high intensity and with both teams looking towards a very important victory.
Maties looked in control in the first quarter, capitalising on errors from UJ and grabbing a handful of good intercepts. Zanele Mdodana's charges went into the first break, leading 12-8
The second quarter brought the fire from the Orange Army as they were playing catchup. , with UJ looked to be a better side the first few minutes as they were trying to catch up. Goal shooter Muhluri Hlatshwayo gave her side hope as the two sides levelled things up just two minutes before the interval. However, Maties proved to be the better side as the match went to the halftime break with the home side leading by 19-18.
UJ managed to recover and overcome the noise from the home crowd in the third quarter. Bongiwe Msomi’s side gave a strong fight to keep Maties on their toes throughout the quarter and to take the match to a 28-all tie.
UJ decided to turn things up another notch in the final quarter to show why they're in third position on the log. Hlatshwayo’s goals and Owethu Ngubane who plays for the Proteas, were the difference as the Johannesburg side walked away with all the points.
Quarter scores: 8-12 / 18-19 / 28-28 / 35-32
Player of the match: Owethu Ngubane (UJ)
Maties: Lisa Ingwersen, Rochelle Maree, Chrisley Marshall, Renezia Andrews, Nerine Koopman, Kerrin de Nobrega, Danielle van Nieuwenhuizen, Entle Futshane, Miriam Ndjadi, Lize Rossouw, Syntiche Kabuya, Zané Bodenstein.
UJ: Cornelia Mupenda, Boitumelo Mahloko, Yanke Broodryk, Mukhatshelwa Tshisikhaw, Adivhaho Tshivhiahuvhi, Zanell Blignaut, Sanelisiwe Ntobela, Londeka Buthelezi, Muhluri Hlatshwayo, Owethu Ngubane, Zene de Waal, Henlize Basson.
UP-TUKS 68-26 WITS
UP-Tuks ran riot against their Gauteng neighbours Wits with a runaway 68-26 victory.
The deadly Tuks combination of Amber Marshall and Marichelle Visagie in the goal circle took the Pretoria-based side to 20-2 at the end of the first quarter. Jenny van Dyk’s side upped their game in the second quarter to extend their lead at the halftime interval to 38-9.
The game continued to be one-sided as Van Dyk's charges didn’t allow the Witsies any breathing space and scoring opportunities. Tuks stuck to their plans as they ended the third quarter leading 54-16.
Debutants Wits simply didn’t have any answers for whatever their much more experienced opponents dished up. When the final whistle blew, it was Tuks who walked away with the victory in the very much one-sided match.
Quarter scores: 20-2 / 38-9 / 54-16- / 68-26
Player of the match: Milla Coetzee (UP-Tuks)
UP-Tuks: Alice Kennon, Amber Marshall, Caroline Paul, Kamogelo Maseko, Kylie van Wyk, Luca Keun, Marichelle Visagie, Melissa van Zyl, Milla Coetzee, Nompha Raphalalani, Phophi Nematangari, Zionne Grobler.
WITS: Giada Prinsloo, Amy Horn, Sidney Coetzee, Kgotso Precious Montshiwa, Simoné van Reenen, Panashe Chiranga, Alix Horn, Kirsten Mileman, Nicola Wilson, Thandiwe Mokiti, Lerato Thobeha, Oreratile Lentsoane.
UFS-KOVSIES 61-33 UWC
Four-time champions UFS-Kovsies were the better side following their 61-33 victory over UWC.
It didn't take long before the physical Kovsies managed to identify the UWC's weakness as goal shooter Sheneca Smith’s goals took her side to 20-5 at the end of the first quarter.
UWC began the second quarter with a little bit more pep in their step and with accurate shooting from Liandre Schoeman. This added pressure on Kovsies didn’t have the desired effect though as the Free Staters went into half-time with the score on 31-14.
Burta de Kock’s team overpowered the UWC team in the third and fourth quarters, with the Cape-based team only managing five goals in the last 15 minutes of the match.
Despite the victory, Kovsies are still outside the top four and a place in the semi-finals seems out the window. UWC on the other hand have only won one of their six matches and are languishing in sixth position.
Quarter scores: 20-5 / 31-14 / 47-28 / 61-33
Player of the match: Xandri Fourie (UFS Kovsies)
UFS-Kovsies: Ane Retief, Bianca Pienaar, Xandri Fourie, Buhle Kubheka, Charne van Vuuren, Demi-Leigh de Jager, Elri Groenewald, Liame de Lange, Reratilwe Letsoalo, Lethabo Sehlapelo, Sheneca Smith, Ruandi van Dyk.
UWC: Nashitah Africa, Courtleigh Behr, Kaylynn-Joy Brand, Amber Coraizin, Renisha Daniels, Chane Engelbrecht, Shevonne Hoffman, Adri Kannemeyer, Ané Louw, Shani Pick, Liandré Schoeman, Kristin van der Ross.
NWU 77-30 MADIBAZ
NWU demolished Madibaz 77-30 to maintain their winning record.
The Eastern Cape side came to the match in hopes of fighting for survival as they occupied the bottom spot on the log while the Eagles were looking to unseat the high-flying UP-Tuks at the top.
The end of the first quarter saw the North West side taking a comfortable 15-5 lead after dominating the possession.
During the second quarter, NWU coach Elsunet du Plessis introduced Proteas goal shooter Elmeré van der Berg for the injured Sunel Smit. Even though Madibaz were not backing down without a fight, NWU knew a win was important as they showed strong character going to the halftime break leading 36-11.
The Eagles’ strong ability to control the game worked in their favour against the Madibaz side. In the end, Du Plessis' charges comfortably bagged a victory over their opponents.
Quarter scores: 15-5 / 36-11 / 57-19 / 77-30
Player of the match: Sanmarie Visser (NWU)
NWU: Sunel Smit, Caitlin du Plessis, Jade Egwatu, Elmeré van der Berg, Jomari Lübbe, Tlotlang Mokomela, Michelle Geduld, Keke Molotsi, Favour Umeh, Sanmarie Visser, Rory Pringle, Martiné Jordaan.
Madibaz: Kaylin Coetzer, Mothira Mohammad, Andrea van der Merwe, Juanita van Tonder, Siyamthanda Dingiswayo, Nosipho Dweba, Britney van der Merwe, Kelly du Toit, Jeannique Rossouw, Danielle Vermaak, Phakama Skosana, Bonique Solaan.
by Ayanda Frances Felem