12 September 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Varsity Sports
Jana Scholtz, goal defender and playing in her first year as a regular starter, has been a solid performer for the Kovsie netball team in Varsity Netball.

The building blocks are starting to form a solid basis from where Kovsies can launch an attack to defend the Varsity Netball title they won in 2018. This is according to Karin Venter, one of the team’s assistant coaches.

After losing their first encounter to Tuks, they registered wins over the University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology, and the North-West University. The match against the Maties in Bloemfontein on 23 September 2019 – the last in the group stage, should determine which of the two teams will book a home semi-final along with Tuks.

“Yes, that is the crucial one,” said Venter, the team’s defensive coach. Her counterpart at the Maties is Adéle Niemand, with whom Venter combined as defenders at Kovsies for several matches in the mid-2000s. Apart from the Maties, the women of the University of the Free State still have to face the Madibaz and the University of the Western Cape (both in Pretoria on 15 and 16 September 2019).

“The combinations are starting to form a unit and our confidence is on the increase. Now we are looking for consistency in our performances.”

According to Venter, they were hit hard by goalkeeper Ané Retief’s injury, which kept her out of the first two matches. This meant that they had to start against Tuks with a first-year student, Chanel Vrey.

“It was tough, but I’m impressed with the way in which she, Ancia Pienaar, and Jana Scholtz – who are all youngsters – stepped up.”

Venter is responsible for the analyses and recons to assist players.

“The programme we are using provides us with all the required footage. You can make notes on it and send these clips to players, which means you don’t have to sit next to a player to explain something. We also provide them with notes and sketches of opponents’ playing patterns, which they must work through as part of their preparation.”

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