As the Madibaz prepare for what could be their last Varsity Netball match of the season, goal shooter Nolusindiso Twani said the team would not go down without a fight.
The Port Elizabeth-based squad set out determined to finish in the top four, but a rollercoaster season means they will most likely finish fifth after three wins and three losses from six games.
They suffered their third loss of the season against North-West University at home on Monday.
They got off to a strong start on that occasion with little to separate the two sides initially, but, as the clock ticked on, things started to unravel for the girls from Nelson Mandela University and they went down 22-44.
Despite the blow, Twani said they were determined to put on a good show in their next match against Stellenbosch University at the Coetzenburg Indoor Centre on Monday.
“I think we’ve got a good chance to take it against Maties. We just need to keep our heads in the right place and go out there and play our hearts out in our last game.”
The 21-year-old has had a remarkable season and has been awarded the Best Shot-award three times for her performances against Vaal University of Technology, University of Pretoria and University of Johannesburg.
Earlier this year, the sports management student also represented the South African U21 team at the World Youth Netball Championships in Gaborone, Botswana.
Although they were short on the desired results, the third-year was positive about the team and tournament as a whole.
“We have really progressed this season. If you compare our scores to last year, the margins are much better and I think as a team we did well.
“The last game will also be a good opportunity for me to step it up a notch again.”
Under the guidance of Lana Krige, whom Twani said had a remarkable ability to come up with surprise tactics, the team would undoubtedly be motivated to end their campaign on a high.
“It’s hard for the other teams to play against us because we’re so unpredictable.
“Coach is full of surprises and, because she has so many options, she always seems to be able to come up with an alternative, run with it and make it work.”
She said the ideal scenario against Maties would be a repeat display of the confidence that seemingly came from nowhere when they played University of the Western Cape.
Even though they were down 13-5 after the first quarter, they managed to grind out a 51-44 victory, including a bonus point, in an achievement that Twani rated as their standout moment of the season.
“I don’t know what happened and I don’t know where it came from, but we came back to take the lead. I remember stepping onto court, we all looked each other in the eye and told one another that we had it.”
She said self-confidence was an area they could improve on as they did not give themselves enough credit and often doubted their ability.