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Wins for Maties, Kovsies, Tuks and NWU on Day 1 of the 2023 Varsity Netball tournament

Maties got the defence of their title off on a winning note when they beat newcomers Wits on the first day of the 2023 Varsity Netball tournament at the Wits Sports Hall in Johannesburg. There were also victories for UFS-Kovsies over Madibaz, UP-Tuks over UJ and NWU over UWC. The first bumper weekend continues tomorrow at the same venue.

Maties 51 Wits 25

Defending champions Maties could their 2023 campaign off on a winning note with a 51-25 victory over debutants Wits.

Maties went into the game as favourites, with a few of their players already well-established. It was always going to be a tough assignment for Wits though, with their squad consisting of several first-year students, lacking the necessary experience.

The first quarter began unexpectedly with Maties starting slowly while Wits showed great energy defensively to make it a four-point game after the first quarter. The rest of the half saw Maties settle into their style and piling on the goals. The Maroon Machine were certainly better with attempts at the hoop and generally moved the ball well, which allowed them to go into the break with a 24-12 lead.

The third quarter saw a better turnout for the Witsies in front of their home crowd, who spurred them on well. The defending champions however held onto their lead, ending the third quarter on 37-23.

Maties came out stronger in the last quarter, making life difficult for Wits. Wits struggled to create any clear-cut scoring opportunities and only managed to add two goals to their tally.

Maties in the end powered on to conclude the match with a 51-25 victory. Credit to the Wits players who pushed towards containing a highly experienced Maties outfit, who simply outwitted the Wits debutants.

Quarter scores: 9-5 / 24-12 / 37-23 / 51-25

Player of the match: Syntiche Kabuya (Maties)

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.

Wits: Giada Prinsloo, Amy Horn, Sidney Coetzee, Kgotso Precious Montshiwa, Simoné van Reenen, Panashe Chiranga, Alix Horn, Refilwe Tswai, Kirsten Mileman, Nicola Wilson, Thandiwe Mokiti, Lerato Thobeha.

UFS-Kovsies 55 Madibaz 27

UFS-Kovsies got their campaign off to a great start when they managed to overcome Madibaz 55-27.

The game began quite tentative with very little to separate the two teams and Kovsies enjoyed a slender 11-8 lead after the first 15 minutes. The next quarter saw a better defensive display from Kovsieswhile Madibaz failed to string passes together consistently. The higher tempo by the Free State team was evident in the number of intercepts, with Kovsies making a staggering 11, compared to the three of the Madibaz. Kovsies increased their lead to 30-17 at half-time.

In the second half of the match saw Kovsies enjoyed the better of the exchanges while being relentless on defence. Madibaz struggled to keep up and the match was concluded with Kovsies walking away with a well-deserved victory.

Liame de Lange was certainly the standout player throughout the match, producing six intercepts, six deflections and a rebound which in the end earned her the Player of the Match award.

Quarter scores: 11-8 / 30-17 / 41-22 / 55-27

Player of the match: Liame de Lange (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.

Madibaz: Kaylin Coetzer, Mothira Mohammad, Andrea van der Merwe, Juanita van Tonder, Sibulele Kentane, Siyamthanda Dingiswayo, Nosipho Dweba, Britney van der Merwe, Kelly du Toit, Mitha Sinxo, Jeannique Rossouw, Bonique Solaan.

UP-Tuks 58 UJ 53

The much-anticipatednorth and south Gauteng derby was an exhilarating clash that saw UP-Tuks leaving it late to beat UJ 58-53.

The game got underway at a high tempo with UJ doing well to pounce on the errors made by Tuks in the opening exchanges. Errors in crucial parts of the court let the Pretoria-based team down to gift the Orange Army a 14-10 lead after the first quarter.

The second quarter saw a tightly contested affair. Tuks were the first team to call for a power play, which worked better for UJ, who managed to add four goals to their tally as opposed to the two from the Tshwane side. This however did not deter Tuks as they clawed their way back in the game to reduce UJ’s lead to one goal going into the half-time interval, with the score at 27-26.

In the second half, play resumed at a fast pace, which at times saw both teams making more unforced errors as the match continued. The end of the third quarter saw Tuks eventually turn matters around to enjoy a four-goal lead, with the game still very much in the balance.

UJ called for their power play in the final quarter. This time it was Tuks that took full advantage, managing to grab four goals while UJ failed to capitalise and only managedtwo. The match-up was a thrilling end-to-end battle but Tuks did well to maintain their lead, landing a goal at the stroke of full time to claim an exhilarating 58-53 win over their Johannesburg counterparts.

Quarter scores: 10-14 / 26-27 / 41-37 / 58-53

Player of the match: Cornelia Mupenda (UJ)

UP-Tuks:Alice Kennon, Amber Marshall, Caroline Paul, Kamogelo Maseko, Kylie van Wyk, Luca Keun, Marichelle Visagie, Melissa van Zyl, Milla Coetzee, NomphaRaphalalani, PhophiNematangari, Zionne Grobler.

UJ: Cornelia Mupenda, Boitumelo Mahloko, YankeBroodryk, MukhatshelwaTshisikhawe, AdivhahoTshivhiahuvhi, ZanellBlignaut, Sanelisiwe Ntobela, Londeka Buthelezi, Muhluri Hlatshwayo, OwethuNgubane, Zene de Waal, HenlizeBasson.

NWU 51 UWC 36

NWU capped off the first day’s play with a hard-fought 51-36 win over a resilient UWC.

The game saw NWU starting like a house on fire, dictating the pace of the game and with UWC struggling to keep up. The first quarter concluded with NWU in a commanding 23-5 lead, setting the scenario up for a big score in the match. The second quarter saw the team from the Western Cape come out with a different kind of energy, where they looked to move the ball around at their own pace, which lead to more scoring opportunities. UWC outscored their opponents in the quarter, but it was still NWU that went into the half-time break 31-15 up.

The third quarter saw UWC fall further behind with NWU adding a further 10 goals. It was a tough quarter for UWC, but it seemed they left their best netball for the final quarter, as they took it to NWU, utilising the power play very well to cut the deficit. UWC certainly showed that they could be a dangerous opponent in this competition. Unfortunately for the ladies from the Western Cape, their fightback was a little too late against an experienced NWU team who managed to hold on for a 51-36 victory.

Quarter scores: 23-5 / 31-15 / 41-21 / 51-36

Player of the match: Sanmarie Visser (NWU)

NWU: Sunel Smit, Caitlin du Plessis, Jade Egwatu, JomariLübbe, Johanné Meyer, Michelle Geduld , TlotlangMokomela, Keke Molotsi, Favour Umeh, Chelize Swart, Sanmarie Visser, MartinéJordaan.

UWC: Nashitah Africa, Courtleigh Behr, Roné Carstens, Amber Coraizin, Renisha Daniels, Shevonne Hoffman, Adri Kannemeyer, Leandré Ketch, Shani Pick, Liandré Schoeman, Wiandi Van der Merwe, Kristin van der Ross.

Full fixture list HERE.

Information on tickets HERE.

by S’fisoNyawo

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