She’s got a sting in her step…

KEAGAN MITCHELL

Kuils River’s Sasha-Lee Petersen, 20, was in fine form on the court for the University of Stellenbosch as she created a number of chances for her side, at the University Sport South Africa (USSA) netball championships at UCT, last week.

However, her performance was not enough, as her side finished fourth overall.

The competition was divided into three sections and Maties found themselves in Section A ,which was divided into Super League and Premier League.

The girls from Stellenbosch finished overall in fourth place, which saw them qualify for the varsity cup, set to take place later this year.

Last year’s varsity cup finalists, Maties, had a shaky start to last week’s competition, losing their opening two games against North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) and the University of Pretoria (Tuks).

They did however bounce back with a 43-35 victory over Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). But then, that was followed by a 61-34 defeat against the University of the Free State (Kovsies).

Maties went on to win their final group game, beating the University of Johannesburg (UJ) 52-38 to finish fourth in their group.

They then faced super league leaders Tuks in the semi-finals, which they lost 49-38.

Their tense match against Kovsies in the third place play-off was a nail-biter, but the Stellenbosch side lost 45-42.

The former De Kuilen High School pupil said every opportunity she gets on court is important and she grabs it with both hands.

“I always try and give it my all, but I believe there is always room for improvement.

“As a team, we learnt a lot this week and even though things didn’t go our way, we put up a good fight in our last match. We know what we’re capable of; we’ll go back and work harder so that we’re ready for varsity cup,” she said.

Petersen is no stranger to major competitions, as she was part of the Western Cape’s Southern Stings team that finished third in the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League, in May.

She was also vice-captain of the South African under-21 side that played in three curtain-raisers against Wales, last month.

She now has her eyes set on the Africa Netball World Youth Cup Qualifiers that take place in Botswana, later this month.

Petersen said she hopes to help the South African under-21 do well in order to qualify for next year’s World Youth Cup, also in Botswana.

“It is always an honour to represent your country, and one should always give your best on the court.

“In our tests against Wales, we were well prepared and beat them comfortably.

“We played a good standard of netball and also kept the high intensity,” she said.

Maties coach Christine Behan said her side did not start well but got stronger as the tournament progressed.

“Although we finished in fourth place, we only lost by two goals for the bronze medal and in our semi-final match lost by six goals against champions Tuks.

“We missed some key players who were not available because of the World University tournament, but that gave younger players an opportunity to prove themselves before varsity netball starts, in September,” she said.