UWC experienced a harsh welcome to Varsity Netball, losing their first match in the competition 80-41 to local rivals Maties in Stellenbosch on Sunday afternoon.
A dominant start by UWC saw the scoreboard rolled over five times in the first 5 minutes of play, but Maties, trailing 5-1 at the time, stood their ground and came back strong. From 6-6, to 7-6 and again 7-7, the ladies put on a proper show at the packed indoor netball courts at Coetzenburg.
Cape Town fans flooded the stands for this encounter and as per usual, the Maties fans on the home team’s side rallied behind the ladies. Though UWC started like a house on fire, they eventually trailed 19-11 when the first break appeared.
After the break, the University of Stellenbosch students came out guns blazing and quickly upped the score to 24-11. When they took advantage of the power play (where one goal counts two points), the score suddenly shot up to 38-19 and then 41-23 in favour of the home team at the half time break.
A performance by the Maties cheerleaders kept the crowd cheering during the break, but the former South African netballer-turned-coach, Zanele Mdodana’s side approached the start of the second half with more urgency and added 8 quick points on the scoreboard.
Just when Maties wanted to put the nail in the coffin, the ladies in dark-blue and yellow fought back and added much-needed points, pulling it back to 60-35 heading into the the third break.
Again, UWC gave the fans an exciting start, but the powerful play of Maties couldn’t be matched and it reflected on the scoreboard: 72-40 with 5 minutes remaining. In the dying stages of game, UWC seemed to tire and Maties took advantage, finishing off the game with a convincing 80-41 victory.
Samsung Best Shot Award: Charmaine Baard (Maties)
FNB Man of the Match: Stephanie Brandt (Maties)
Maties: Charmaine Baard, Nichole Taljaard, Somari Els, Adri Uys, Abeline Olivier, Sasha-lee Petersen, Carla Werth, Alison Malgas, Nielke Matthee, Caleigh Stuart, Megan Gossmann, Stephanie Brandt
UWC: Jaumbuaije Zauana, Cindy Amsterdam, Jami Vermeulen, Casandra Fisher, Keesha van Schalkwyk, Cara-leigh Jospehs, Sinesipho Willie, Allenor Landsman, Wilmedine Boer, Akhona Faye, Caioly Gabriel, Desmorine Gawanas