Despite losing out by one point, the University of Johannesburg netball team will stay focused on reaching the top tier in the University Sport South Africa tournament.
The event took place at Wits in Johannesburg from July 1 to 5 and UJ won the Premier A section.
This earned them a shot at promotion to the Super A section, but they were just pipped by University of Western Cape, 45-44.
UJ were one of six teams who competed in the Premier A section, which involved round-robin matches and then a knockout phase.
“We worked hard to secure the win in the Premier A section,” said head coach David Maree. “It was unfortunate to lose out in the promotion match, but we will continue to work towards qualifying for the Super league A section.”
He added that their most impressive performances during the week came against Tshwane University of Technology.
“It was tough and those were two exciting encounters. Due to the tournament format we played them twice before claiming the title, so that was something of which we were proud.
“Going into the week I asked the players to perform to the best of their ability. We have set high standards and all the team members were prepared to be and act like winners. You can’t be a winner if you don’t believe you are one.”
While praising the team effort, he recognised the role played by Beverly Moyake.
“She has been a key player in our defensive structure and was selected for the Dream Team.”
Besides Moyake’s selection to the Dream Team, she, Kaylin Pienaar and Naledi Peters were included in the squad for the Confederation of University and College Sports Association Games (CUCSA), while Pienaar and Ntabisheng Masehle were named in the SA U19 squad.
Pienaar and Brittany Abdinor will represent South Africa in the U23 Action Netball tournament in August.