UP start VarsityNetball with a win


UP started their VarsityNetball campaign on Monday 5 September in Bloemfontein. The team faced rivals the University of the Free State (Kovies) in the first leg of the tournament, and ended the first quarter of the tournament neck-and-neck in a 13-point deadlock.

In the second quarter the Kovsies’ use of defence and optimisation of interception opportunities gave them a slight 25-21 point lead. UP changed things up in the second half of the match as Shongile Hlongwane took up wing defence, captain Shadine van der Merwe made the shift to goal defence, and Chantelle Swarts came in as goal attack. The UP side capitalised on the changes, and with the help of the power play stepped off the court leading by 38-33 after the third quarter. They held fast to their winning momentum to end the game with a final score of 64-41. UP-Tuks vice-captain Tshinakaho Mdau was awarded player of the match.

Perdeby spoke with Van der Merwe for an inside look into her experience of the opening game of the season, especially having returned to the court after an injury.



How do you feel about the team’s performance in their first match of the tournament?

My heart is pounding with joy for my team. I am so proud that we pulled through, and with a good score. We had struggles in the beginning of the game, but showed character at the end. It was totally a 12-player team effort.



What were some of the highlights that stood out to you as team captain?

My fellow teammate [vice-captain] Tshina Mdau receiving the player of the match award, [and] the debut of Chantelle Swart, Shongile Hlongwane and Juzeldri Garbers for VarsityNetball, and definitely the power plays.



What aspects do you think the team can stand to improve on?

Well there is definitely room for improvement. We will go back this week and just work on the basics and work on our rhythm on court.



How do you feel about your own personal performance, coming back after some of the hardships you experienced last season?

They always say “for every setback there is a comeback”, and that is something that I held onto after turning their first centre pass. I am so glad to be back on court, but personally I know I can do better on court. I am looking forward to improving my own performance, to [improve] my team’s performance each week. 


Photo: SASPA. 

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