The UP beach volleyball team missed out on the Varsity Volleyball title, going down 44-25 to hosts and defending champions the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The two-day tournament took place from 22-23 April at the UWC sports stadium.
The gruelling tournament consisted of the traditional two rounds of games which determine the log standings, meaning that teams would have very little turnover time between matches. Despite this Tuks finished third, winning three out of their five encounters behind UWC and the Vaal University of Technology (VUT). This was enough to earn them a semi-final match against VUT. Tuks did enough to secure their spot in the final by beating second on the log VUT 36-29, rounding off a good performance by the northern teams who outplayed coastal favourites like the University of Cape Town.
In the semi-final against VUT, a replay of the previous day’s match, Tuks managed to improve on their performance and build up a decent lead, going into half-time 22-12 up. Fired up, VUT came back from the break to reduce the deficit to four points. Tuks kept their nerve to finish the match victorious. VUT would eventually finish as bronze winners.
The final was tightly contested in the beginning as Tuks put on a spirited performance to stay within reach of UWC, who powered to a 23-14 lead at half time. With the lively home crowd behind them, the defending champions, who remained undefeated throughout the tournament, displayed their dominance and established a 20 point lead with five minutes to go. This proved too much for Tuks, ending the match with a final score of 44-25.
Although they were not victorious, this was Tuks’ best performance in this tournament, one which the team looks to improve upon in the future.