The Madibaz women’s water polo team defeated UP-Tuks in their play-off match to finish in third place at the University Sport South Africa tournament in Stellenbosch late last month.
While they were hoping to go one better this year, Madibaz Sport water polo manager Melinda Goosen said the competition was so intense at the week that winning the bronze medal was “a huge achievement”.
It was a repeat of their performance at last year’s tournament.
UCT and Maties again contested the final, which was won by Maties.
Goosen said there had been pressure on all the teams during the week as there were no semifinal playoffs.
“It was a round-robin format in the pool matches and then you went straight to playoff matches to decide the final positions,” she said.
“With no semifinals, you really had to bring your ‘A’ game to the pool stages as you did not have a second chance in a semi to make the final.”
After losing to the tough UCT side by one goal in their opening match, Madibaz dominated their remaining pool games.
“We then faced the Maties first team in the last pool match, a team we have never beaten. But the girls went out flying and were leading after the second chukka.
“However, we could not finish off the game and they edged us in the last minutes of the match by two goals.”
While producing an all-round effort, Goosen said goalkeeper Meghan Maartens “was definitely a standout player from our team”.
In an extremely tough men’s competition, Madibaz finished in sixth place and Goosen said they would continue to plan for the future.
“We are very much in a building phase for the men and the aim is to focus on the base we have created because we also have some really good men joining us.”