The fifth edition of Varsity Netball began in August with five players participating in their fifth tournament.
They were Arné Rust (Madibaz), Shadine van der Merwe (Tuks), Kim-Roché Holmes (University of Johannesburg), Tanya Mostert (Kovsies) and Zandré Erasmus (North-West University).
Two of the five made it through to Monday night’s final – Erasmus and Van der Merwe, both defenders. Van der Merwe will lead the Pretoria’ students on the court for the final time when they face NWU in this year’s final. She is in her final year and will celebrate her 25th birthday next month. Erasmus, however, will still be studying and will still be eligible to play Varsity Netball.
Erasmus (24) is an honours student in Information Technology Education.
Monday’s final will be her fourth final. Only she and her team mate Mandy Hermanus have achieved this. Erasmus said she is still deciding whether she will play next year.
All the NWU players will be eligible to play next season, but it will be under a new coach as Dorette Badenhorst is leaving the university at the end of the year. Many of the NWU players’ netball decisions about 2018 will depend on the name of Badenhorst’s successor, which still have to be named. But for now, the focus is on the final.
Erasmus said she is honoured to have played in her fifth Varsity Netball season, and honoured to have received a total of nine awards as FNB Player of the Match. She earned her second consecutive award in last Monday night’s semi-final against Kovsies.
“I can’t do it alone. It is for sure a team effort, it is a team game,” said the vice captain. Erasmus has made 12 intercepts, two of those during the crucial power play periods. NWU will hope their goal keeper can turn some more balls against Tuks.
“Defence definitely pulled us through against Kovsies. It was a very tight game in the first two quarters,” said Erasmus of the NWU’s victory of 53-37.
Erasmus said the Potchefstroom side hasn’t done anything different this week in preparation for the final.
“We are sticking with the winning recipe. Tuks is a very good side. We expect a tight match. We want to play good netball. If we play good netball, the result will come. If we play good netball, we will be happy when we walk off the court, regardless of the outcome,” said Erasmus.
Monday’s final is at 18:45 at the Rembrandt hall on the Pretoria campus.