The Madibaz squash team will be looking to exploit their home advantage when the University Sport South Africa week is hosted by Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, starting on Sunday.
Including a team event and an individual tournament, the competition begins on July 1 and runs until July 7.
Madibaz women’s No 1 Hayley Ward, who ended fourth in the individual tournament last year, said they were looking forward to competing in familiar conditions.
“I think it could be an advantage playing on our home courts as we train here and will have more support than usual,” she said.
“However, some of the other student players also come from PE so they will have an idea of what to expect.”
From a team point of view, Ward said they would like to improve on their fourth position of last year by ending, at least, in the top three.
She added that in the individual tournament she would be aiming to “play the best squash I can and give it my all”.
Ward has produced some notable performances this year, winning the Londt Park Open and the EP Closed, but said she was still working on a number of aspects.
“I am working on my movement and speed on court, while also trying to take the ball earlier,” she said.
“My preparations for the week are on track, combining court skills with a fitness programme.”
Once the individual tournament is done, the team event will take place from Wednesday to Friday, with sides playing two matches a day.