An experienced University of Johannesburg squad will be targeting a remarkable eighth successive title when the University Sport South Africa squash tournament takes place in Cape Town from June 30 to July 5.
Having lost only No 2 Kacey-Leigh Dodd from last year’s women’s team, UJ will be strong favourites to continue a long run of success at the annual week.
They will be headed by Kyle Maree and Alexa Pienaar, who is also the two-time USSA individual women’s champion.
Captain Blessing Muhwati, Tyrone Dial and Jennifer Preece were all part of last year’s winning team. They have been joined by promising young players in Amu Zitha and Panashe Sithole.
“We have some good continuity from last year, with Kacey-Leigh, who has finished her degree, the only one who has left,” said Pienaar.
“This leaves Jennifer to step up to play at No 2 for the first time, while Panashe, a talented first year and the newest member of our team, will slot in at No 3.
“I believe this will give us great depth, which is so important at a tournament such as this.”
The USSA week will start with the individual tournament, which runs from Sunday to Tuesday.
Pienaar defeated the experienced Lauren Siddall in last year’s final and will be chasing her third straight title in Cape Town.
“Naturally, defending the title is my main goal but I want do so in a good spirit and to be an example to young up-and-coming players,” said the 24-year-old.
The individual tournament plays an important role in the USSA week because the varsities are ranked for the team event on how well their players do in the individual section.