The University of Johannesburg netball team came within a whisker of gaining promotion to the Super A section when the University Sport South Africa tournament took place at Wits in Johannesburg from July 1 to 5.
After winning the Premier A section, UJ faced University of Western Cape in the promotion-relegation match, but were pipped by one point, losing 45-44.
Nevertheless, head coach David Maree said they were delighted to achieve one of their targets, which was to win the Premier A section.
“We worked hard to secure the win in that section,” he said. “It was unfortunate to lose out in the promotion match, but it is still our aim to play in the Super league A section. We will continue to work towards that.”
He added that their most impressive performances during the week came against Tshwane University of Technology, whom they beat twice on their way to the section title.
Maree put their success down to a “total team effort”.
“There was an incredible team spirit among the players and the team stayed motivated and kept focused on their ultimate goal.
“But I must commend Beverly Moyake on an outstanding tournament. She has been a key player in our defensive structure and was selected for the Dream Team.”
As UJ netball was in a rebuilding phase Maree felt their USSA achievement confirmed that management had put in place the right foundation to grow the players.
“I am a firm believer that hard work always pays off. This is the start of greater things for UJ netball and the success will serve as motivation for the players to stay loyal and focus on their goals.”
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.