Day 2 of the first bumper weekend of the 2023 Varsity Netball tournament at the Wits Sports Hall in Johannesburg delivered the goods with defending champions Maties and NWU made to sweat for their victories. There was also a historic first win for Wits in the competition while UP-Tuks continued on their winning ways.
WITS 34 MADIBAZ 33
Debutants Wits kept their supporters on the edge of their seats as they picked up a dramatic 34-33 win over the Madibaz. It was their first of the tournament.
The first quarter saw an impressive effort for the Witsies, who took a slender 8-7 lead, landing all their goal attempts in the process. The Madibaz on the other end struggled with their accuracy but it also did not stop them from keeping within touching distance of the hosts.
The second quarter continued in a similar fashion with Wits continuing to convert their opportunities. Giada Prinsloo was instrumental in helping her team retain their lead at the halftime break (17-13).
The resumption of the tightly contested clash saw the tide swinging the other way in the championship third quarter, with the Madibaz becoming the enforcers. They seemed to play a lot more short and sharp balls at a rapid pace that pegged the Witsies back, forcing more errors. This was reflected on the scoreboard as well, with the Madibaz taking a first-time lead with the score at 26-22.
The fourth quarter brought about a do-or-die situation for Wits, who looked like they would take advantage of a power play, but the composure shown by the Madibaz kept them at bay. Despite chasing the game for much of the final 15 minutes, Wits mounted a late comeback to clinch a dramatic 34-33 win.
Quarter scores:8-7 / 17-13 / 22-26 / 34-33
Player of the match: Kelly du Toit (Madibaz)
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.
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 65 UWC 48
UP-Tuks shrugged off their sluggish start from yesterday to record a well-worked 65-48 win over UWC.
The first quarter set the tone for the rest of the match as Tuks comfortably led 18-8 after the first 15 minutes. UWC struggled to contain the Tshwane side defensively. The second quarter saw Tuks continue to pile on the goals, but the twist came when they called for their power play. UWC were the ones that utilised it the best, coming to within 11 points of the former champions. This was a big confidence boost for the Western Cape team, and they went into the halftime break within touching distance (33-22).
Tuks came out firing in the third quarter while UWC struggled to get a real grip on the game and gain momentum. Tuks coach Jenny van Dyk was also animated on the sideline, putting her troops in order when there were errors on the ball that were letting them down. The championship quarter eventually ended with Tuks leading UWC 53-34.
The fourth quarter saw the final power play being called by UWC, where they dominated as well, piling on a further six goals. It made for an impressive overall reading of a 12-2 scoreline to UWC in both power plays. Tuks were however able to hold their nerve well outside of the power plays, recording an astonishing 65 out of 69 goal attempts.
Quarter scores:18-8 / 33-22 / 53-34 / 65-48
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.
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.
NWU 47 UJ 43
The clash between NWU and UJ was always expected to pack the heat and bring a vibrant crowd to their feet. The on-court action certainly did not disappoint as NWU were made to sweat for a 47-43 victory.
The game saw a slow start from both teams in this tightly contested duel. It was NWU who edged the scoreboard tally at the end of the first quarter (10-9). The Orange Army kept in close pursuit of their counterparts but saw the possessional stats leaning towards the ladies from Potchefstroom.
The second quarter saw NWU edging the ball stats once again while UJ would’ve hoped for a better conversion rate as they left a few goals on the court. At the break, it was NWU who remained in front (23-20).
The second half saw the seesaw battle between the two teams continue, where a vital power play was introduced in the third quarter by NWU, which both teams used well.
The fourth quarter saw the intensity lifted as both teams looked to leave it all out on the court. With just over three minutes to go in the game, UJ called for the final power play, which they capitalised well on, but they could not keep NWU from scoring goals of their own and walking away with the victory.
Quarter scores:10-9 / 23-20 / 37-32 / 47-43
Player of the match: Caitlin du Plessis (NWU)
NWU: Sunel Smit, Caitlin du Plessis, Jade Egwatu, Jomari Lübbe, Johanné Meyer, Michelle Geduld , Tlotlang Mokomela, Keke Molotsi, Favour Umeh, Chelize Swart, Sanmarie Visser, Martiné Jordaan.
UJ: Cornelia Mupenda, Boitumelo Mahloko, Yanke Broodryk, Mukhatshelwa Tshisikhawe, Adivhaho Tshivhiahuvhi, Zanell Blignaut, Sanelisiwe Ntobela, Londeka Buthelezi, Muhluri Hlatshwayo, Owethu Ngubane, Zene de Waal, Henlize Basson.
MATIES 46 UFS-KOVSIES 43
Defending champions Maties showed great consistency throughout their game against UFS-Kovsies to claim a nail-biting 46-43 win.
The game served as a perfect finale of the first bumper weekend. The match was a well-contested one throughout, with Maties getting the ball rolling at the conclusion of the first quarter to come out with a narrow 12-10 lead.
The second quarter followed a similar rhythm with Maties remaining on top of their game when it came to disrupting the Kovsies’ attacking moves, making vital interceptions. Kovsies did well not to allow Maties to get too far from them on the scoreboard, with the two teams settling for a Maties lead of 23-21 at the halftime interval.
Both teams opted to not invoke their power plays in the third quarter, keeping the match on a knife’s edge. Maties, featuring nine first years in their squad, concluded the quarter leading 34-31.
The final quarter was a nail-biter as Kovsies showed great courage to fight back. At the conclusion of the first power play, introduced by Maties, Kovsies had managed to claw their way back to level matters at 40-40 with three minutes left to play. The final power play came into effect in the last two minutes, where Maties were able to race off to a hard-fought three-goal victory.
Quarter scores:12-10 / 23-21 / 34-31 / 46-43
Player of the match: Reratilwe Letsoalo (UFS-Kovsies)