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By Vicky Hendrikz

Three Maties tennis players recently participated in the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tennis tournament alongside three players from the University of Pretoria (Tuks). The tournament, which would have taken place in December but was postponed, took place from 18 to 21 March. The team consisted of Maties Maryke Badenhorst, Corin de Waal and Jason Fogle, as well as the three players from Tuks to spawn a full team of three women and three men.

The team had a strong start in the tournament, with wins over the University of the Free State, better known as Kovsies, followed by the North-West University (Pukke’s) second team, Tuks’ first team and Pukke’s thirrd team. The team’s luck ran out, however, after they were through to the semi-final of the tournament, only to be stopped minutes before and told they were not allowed to play because their team was made up of different universities.

Because of this, they were then pushed out of the semis and were now playing for 9th to 12th position. Their first game was against Rhodes University where they won in a breeze but were again not allowed to progress. Rhodes then qualified to play for the 9th position while the Maties/Tuks conglomerate had to play against Nelson Mandela University for 11th or 12th position.

All in all the penalty put the team back way more than they would have been, with the Tuks team winning the tournament at the end, even though Maties beat them in the pool stage.

“So basically, we actually won the tournament,” says Badenhorst.

“All of the Maties players played really well. Corin and I won all of our singles and doubles matches and Jason only lost one match,” says Badenhorst.

All three Maties players were additionally chosen for the FISU World University Games (International University Sports Games) squad, which will be held the week of 27 June to 7 July this year in China. The chosen squad consists of five players and will eventually be reduced to three. The eventual team will consist of South African student tennis players competing in a strong, global competition.

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