Inexperienced Madibaz keep A section spot in USSA tennis

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The Madibaz team which competed in the University Sport South Africa tennis tournament
The Madibaz team which competed in the University Sport South Africa tennis tournament in Stellenbosch last week was (from the left, back) Dewaldt de Waal, Nathan van der Mescht, (front) Stef van Heerden, Sisipho Ndlabhu, Jewlin Jonkers, Andrew Hyde, Demi da Silva, Benjy Nelson (men's captain), Danielle Stander (women's captain), Kerry Pattinson and Victoria Simons. Photo: Supplied

With three players chosen for the Cucsa squad and a sixth-place finish in the A section, the Madibaz Tennis Club returned from the University Sport South Africa tournament satisfied with the outcome.

The tournament took place in Stellenbosch last week and was won for the 12th year in a row by University of Free State.

Comprising players from the Port Elizabeth and George campuses, the Nelson Mandela University outfit retained their spot in the A section after earning promotion last year.

In addition, Stef van Heerden, Jewlin Jonkers and Sisipho Ndlabhu were chosen for the Cucsa (Confederation of Universities and College Sport Association) squad.

Madibaz coach Hennie de Klerk said the trio would receive invites to training sessions and tournaments next year.

“Following these events final selection will be done for the team to attend the Cucsa tournament, which will be held next year in Lesotho,” he said.

“Student-athletes will also have an eye on earning selection for the World Student Games in 2021, with the Summer Universiade being held in China from August 8 to 19 that year.”

Reflecting on the week at Coetzenburg in Stellenbosch, De Klerk said 18 teams of six male and six female players competed in the tournament, divided into A and B sections.

“After earning promotion at last year’s week in Bloemfontein, we finished in sixth position in the A section out of eight teams,” he added.

“Bearing in mind that our No 1 male and female players were not available due to injury, this was a commendable effort by the squad.

“It means we have retained our spot in the A section for next year, which is important as we have been asked to host the week in 2021.”

Next year’s tournament will be played in Potchefstroom.

Given that they fielded a relatively inexperienced team, De Klerk said the players had performed extremely well throughout the week.

“The team spirit and general behaviour was of the highest standard and I believe we can look back on a successful USSA 2019.”

He made special mention of Madibaz Sport tennis manager Theresa le Roux for her role in arranging the trip to Stellenbosch.

“That was much appreciated, while two of our players, Danielle Stander and Kerry Pattinson, were heavily invested in the organisation of the tour and did an outstanding job of handling the detailed arrangements.”

The final team positions were: 1 Free State, 2 Stellenbosch, 3 UP-Tuks, 4 North-West University (Potch), 5 UCT, 6 Madibaz, 7 KwaZulu-Natal, 8 North-West University (Mafikeng).

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