On 21 August UP-Tuks kicked off the Varsity Netball 2021 tournament with their first match against North West University (NWU). UP-Tuks had remained undefeated since 2019, after winning every match in the 2019 Varsity Netball tournament.
UP-Tuks started off with a weak first quarter, as NWU maintained a two point lead throughout the majority of quarter one. However, UP Tuks brought it back towards the end of the quarter with a score of 14-13 to UP-Tuks. UP-Tuks maintained their one point lead throughout the second quarter, ending the first half of the match with a score of 30-29 to UP-Tuks. NWU gained momentum in the third quarter with the score being 45-49 to NWU, while UP-Tuks had still had not called their power play. UP-Tuks called their power play with 10 minutes to go in the final quarter. NWU continued to score as the team’s strong pairing inside the goal circle consisted of the goal shooter and goal attack who have both been selected to represent South Africa during the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series, taking place in Jamaica this year. UP-Tuks struggled to move the ball into the circle and could not recover in the last quarter. UP-Tuks lost to NWU with a final score of 64-73 to NWU.
NWU has become the first varsity netball squad to defeat UPTuks since 2018, and thus UP-Tuks’ undefeated streak in this tournament has ended.