The Madibaz squash team came through some tough matches to again end with the silver medal when the University Sport South Africa tournament was played in Cape Town early this month.
Taking place at UCT from June 30 to July 5, Madibaz reached their second successive final in the team event, only to be outplayed by the potent and experienced University of Johannesburg side.
However, coach Jason le Roux said the players could hold their heads up high.
“We came through the pool of death in the round-robin phase and the players then excelled in defeating Tshwane University of Technology, who had the strongest men’s team at the week, 16-8 and Stellenbosch, in the semifinals, 15-9, to reach their second straight final.”
Although Madibaz went down 24-3 to defending champions UJ, Le Roux said the final scoreline was not a true reflection of the encounter.
“The team really fought hard to get through to the final and there were small margins, but in the end it was just a hurdle too far after a tough tournament.
“Nonetheless I was extremely proud of the commitment and determination shown by all the players.”
The success achieved by Madibaz during the week was not restricted to the team event.
Women’s No 1 Hayley Ward was runner-up to three-time champion Alexa Pienaar in the individual final, while Mikayla Boy was crowned the B section champion.
Madibaz supplied all the women – Ward, Bianca Brown and Dani Shone – for the three positions in the USSA Best of the Rest team.
The women’s team ended second in their category, while Ward, Brown and men’s No 1 Warren Bower were included in the USSA squad from which the team [three men and two women] will be chosen for the World University Championships in China next year.