The hosts completed a comeback against UL to remain undefeated heading into the Varsity Beach Volleyball semi-finals.
UWC vs Tuks
UWC made light work of Tuks heading towards the semi-final stages of Varsity Beach Volleyball.
Tuks started with Margrit Springer and Thumo Neluvhalani while UWC started with Bejancka Della and Prudence Layters. UWC raced into an early 6-1 lead and Tuks called the time out as early as the second minute to try slow UWC’s momentum and regroup.
A brilliant block by the tall Springer on UWC’s Della, followed up by an ace, pulled back the score to 9-5. Jaime-Lee Wentzel came in earlier than usual for Tuks, replacing Neluvhalani with four minutes remaining in the first half.
Tuks were scrambling well, but UWC were on top and looking comfortable. Layters was UWC’s chief destroyer – deadly serving giving Tuks all sorts of problems.
UWC were much shorter than Tuks, but controlled the game and looked the more composed. It was 21-9 at half time.
UWC brought on Basetsane Malubane for Layters in the second half.
But with five minutes to play it was 30-11, Tuks pulled it back to 33-17, but were never in the match. The full time score 41-22 to UWC.
VUT vs UCT
UCT started with Michelle Barboure and Hannah Fox against a VUT side that threatened to upset the Capetonian team.
VUT’s Sindisiwe Sithole and Botshelo Nnosang were on the back foot early on as UCT took an early 5-2 lead. VUT just couldn’t get the ball over the net and trailed 10-5 just five minutes into the match.
But VUT fought back to 11-9 with and with four minutes to play they had the upper hand for the first time in the match. Half time arrived and VUT led 19-15.
The second half was a far more even contest. Four minutes in UCT led 23-17.
Asive Makhathini came in for Botshelo Nnosang and miscommunication early on enabled UCT to pull the scores back to back to 33-26 with three minutes to go.
But the first half lead was enough of a cushion to see UCT to a 39-28 victory.
Kovsies vs UL
UL started day two far better, flying into an 11-6 lead against Kovsies, who continued to struggle in the 2016 tournament.
UL’s Thandeka Mathebula and Caroline Malahlela continued their fine partnership in the tournament. Kovsies’ Imke Stehn and Moleboheng Matsiliso were definitely an improved partnership, but lacked stamina, having played every second of the tournament.
UL are one of the tallest sides in the competition and used that to their advantage, but Kovsies pulled it back to 16-13 two minutes before half time.
At half time it was 21-18 to UL. The second half was a mountain for Kovsies. UL pulled ahead 27-20 after just four minutes.
And it was soon 41-28 to UL with three minutes remaining, Fantastic serving by UL’s Mathebula was the difference despite her teammate, Caroline Malahlela, struggling at the net.
The final score: 53-30 to UL.
Tuks vs UCT
Although they finished second on the log, Tuks look to be the most professional team at the competition. Once again, they stuck with the tried and tested Margrit Springer and Thumo Neluvhalani in their starting two. UCT started with Michelle Barboure and Hannah Fox.
Tuks raced ahead 6-0, as they scored with serve after serve before UCT could get a single point on the board. UCT did pull it back to 10-6, but it was mostly thanks to long hits over the baseline by Tuks.
Springer kept winners coming with drop shots at the net and UCT were often caught deep. The tall Tuks lady was in top form at the net, smashing winners and executing spikes. UCT were either too close or too deep and Tuks were all over the court, punishing UCT for their errors.
Tuks led 22-9 at half time.
Christie Putter came in for UCT’s Michelle Barboure in the second half, but it had little effect. Tuks were 31-15 ahead with five minutes to play. Jaime-Lee Wentzel came on for Thumo Neluvhalani with four minutes remaining.
Springer was clinical at the net and Wentzel served excellently. At full time it was Tuks 43-21 UCT.
UWC vs UL
An incredible second half comeback ensured that UWC finished top of the log and remained undefeated going into the semi-finals.
Tamlyn Thomas and Basetsane Malubane started for UWC while UL began with Thandeka Mathebula and Thembeka Madlopha. UL raced into a 5-3 lead early on.
UWC struggled to work their way back into the match and miscommunication cost them dearly. A time out was called with five minutes remaining in the match. The time out helped the Cape side but UWC trailed 12-10 with four minutes remaining.
An early strategic substitute was made when Tamlyn Thomas went off for Prudence Layters for UWC. Although the substitute made a positive impact for UWC, UL caught the line again and again with their services, as everything seemed to go their way, demoralising UWC. At half time they trailed 23-16.
But in an incredible second half, UWC pulled it back to 28-28 with six minutes to play as the home crowd got behind their team.
They took the lead for first time in the match, 29-28 as Layters began pulling the screws for UWC. UWC led 34-30 with just over three minutes to play and had all the momentum against a stunned UL.
UWC completed the comeback, winning 44-34 at the final whistle.
VUT vs Kovsies
In the final match of the round phase, VUT finished their competition strongly, defeating Kovsies 53-29 to end just above their opponents on the log in fifth place.
It was 7-5 to VUT early on, as they started the stronger of the two teams. VUT’s Botshelo Nnosang and Asive Makhathini started strongly.
Kovsies’ Imke Stehn and Moleboheng Matsiliso have fought valiantly this year and weren’t leaving Cape Town without a fight. VUT led 14-11, but Kovsies turned up the heat to bring it level at 14-14 after fine work by Kovsies’ Stehn keeping it alive.
They took a lead with three minutes to half time, 15-14, but by the time the whistle blew, VUT had taken the lead 26-15, with a period of dominance.
VUT pulled ahead through a strong service game by Botshelo Nnosang. Then she was substituted for Sindisiwe Sithole. That didn’t slow momentum and soon VUT led 36-19 with seven minutes to play.
A brilliant all round performance and clinical finishing helped VUT to a 53-29 victory.
UWC 41-22 Tuks
VUT 28-39 UCT
Kovsies 30-53 UL
Tuks 43-21 UCT
UWC 44-34 UL
VUT 53-29 Kovsies
Varsity Beach Volleyball Semi-finals at UWC Stadium:
Semi-final 1: UWC vs UL (15h00)
Semi-final 2: Tuks vs UCT (15h30)