The University of Johannesburg squash team continued to rule the roost in the University Sport South Africa tournament when they won their eighth successive title in Cape Town last week.
Under coach Mike Bester and captain Blessing Muhwati, UJ defeated Nelson Mandela University in the final, while their women’s No 1, Alexa Pienaar, won the individual title for the third year in a row.
Bester praised the team for the hard work they had put in during the build-up to USSA.
“Winning the title again is just reward for the disciplined approach adopted by the squad members. Their dedication to training has been the reason behind this success story.”
As the coach, Bester said he merely put the training programmes and guidelines in place and it was then up to the players to fulfil their commitments.
He added that their success was not based on a programme they merely instituted each year, but rather that they had long-term plans in place.
“For instance, when a first-year comes into the squad we don’t immediately expect big results from him or her.
“Instead, we provide them with targets to reach each year so they can build their way to the top level of varsity squash.”
Seeded one for the team competition, UJ comfortably defeated Madibaz 24-3 in the final.
“Naturally a player like Alexa [ranked five in South Africa] is a cut above the rest, but overall it was a really good team effort to get us through,” said Bester.
“The only close match came at the women’s No 2 position, where Jennifer Preece was pushed to five games by Bianca Brown. So it was another great all-round effort from the whole team.”