UWC defeated Kovsies and UCT, while Tuks were the only other undefeated team after the first two rounds of Varsity Beach Volleyball.
UWC vs Kovsies
The defending champions lay down a marker as early as the first match. They were up against a resilient Kovsies in the 11:00 opener on Day One of Varsity Beach Volleyball.
Tamlyn Thomas was exceptional for UWC. Every UWC attack seemed to go through her as they UWC stamped their authority on the match.
They took a 17-3 lead to stun Kovsies early on in the match.
Kovsies struggled to slow UWC’s momentum and though the half time break was a welcome one, they trailed 28-6. Imke Stehn and Moleboheng Matsiliso tired in the second half, while UWC rotation kept their players fresh. It eventually finished 52-16, as the defending champions got off to a perfect title defence.
Tuks vs VUT
Tuks’ Margrit Springer was key to their victory when the Pretoria ladies overpowered VUT 42-18. Springer’s height was an asset on attack, as most of their plays went through the front court player. Great communication between her and teammates, Thumo Neluvhalani, ensured an organised Tuks defence.
It was 20-9 at half time, the match slipping away from VUT, who had a mountain to climb in the second half. Jaime-Lee Wentzel came on for Neluvhalani at 22-10 with nine minutes to go, making an immediate impact for Tuks before VUT could fight their way back into the match.
Sindisiwe Sithole and Botshelo couldn’t find a way back into the match for VUT and when Nnosang Makhathini came in for Sindisiwe Sithole with six minutes left, it had little impact on the outcome, as Tuks won 42-18.
UL vs UCT
Cape Town made it two wins from two when UCT managed to defeat UL in a rollercoaster final match of Round One.
Christie Putter’s serving let UCT down early on as UL took an 8-7 in a wind-affected opening few minutes. Thandeka Mathebula’s serve on the other hand, was causing all sorts of problems for UCT.
UCT’s Hannah Fox came in early for Putter in a strategic change. It was a wise move by UCT’s coach as they clawed their way back to 16-15 lead just before the break.
In the second half UCT pulled ahead 28-20 in the opening four minutes. UL’s Thembeka Madlopha came on for Caroline Malahlela, but Thandeka Mathebula and Madlopha took a while to gel, which cost the Limpopo side.
Great serving by Mathebula clawed UL back into it at 38-30. But in the end UL couldn’t control Fox’s serve late on as it ended 46-30 in favour of UCT.
Tuks vs Kovsies
In Round Two Tuks remained undefeated when they hammered Kovsies 50-23.
Kovsies struggled against the serve of Margrit Springer, who is quickly proving to be one of the players of the tournament. Kovsies couldn’t cushion or control Springer’s serve and soon they trailed 10-5, unable to construct an attack.
Tuks had a game plan and Thumo Neluvhalani set up the spike for Springer superbly, while Kovsies battled to stay in it. Jaime-Lee Wentzel came on for Tuks in place of Neluvhalani just before the break.
At half time Kovsies trailed 26-12. Wentzel started the second half well for Tuks, the back court player serving well to put Kovises under pressure. Soon the score was 31-17 with seven minutes to play.
With two minutes remaining Tuks led 45-20 and added another five, while Kovsies could only reply with three. The final score 50-23 as Tuks reached 50 right on the final whistle.
VUT vs UL
UL defeat VUT in a close encounter.
The match between UL and VUT was dead even in the opening four minutes, the scores 7-7, as the lead shifted back and forth. UL turned defence into attack brilliantly and managed to pull ahead 11-7.
It was a match that treated the UWC crowd to some of the best rallies of the day.
UL,’s tall lady, Thandeka Mathebula, was the standout player in the clash, hustling, diving and fast around the court.
She was a catalyst in pulling her side ahead as they led 22-13 at the break.
VUT weren’t going to give p easily in the second half and they pulled it back to 23-30 with five minutes to play.
But UL held their nerve to win 40-35.
UCT vs UWC
The defending champions topped the log by defeating neighbours UCT in the final match of the second round.
UCT started with Christie Putter and Hannah Fox while UWC started with Bejancka Della and Prudence Layters.
After three minutes at 6-6, it looked like there was nothing between the two sides. But UWC were clinical in the final few minutes of the first half. Potent serving put UCT on the back foot and UWC looked comfortable at 26-13 at half time.
Basetsane Malubane came on for UWC with eight minutes to play with her side leading 33-15. Michelle Barboure came on for UCT in one of the tallest partnerships in the competition with Christie Putter beside her.
UWC defended well, while attacking ruthlessly. Acheeky drop shot by Bejancka Della showing their all-round class. UCT were able to block UWC spikes with their height, but UWC’s precision found a way around that.
In the end it finished 54-26, as UWC topped the log after two rounds.
UWC 52-16 Kovsies
Tuks 42-18 VUT
UCT 46-30 UL
Tuks 50-23 Kovsies
VUT 35-40 UL
UWC 54-26 UCT