Every year students from universities all over South Africa compete in different sporting codes for the University Sport South Africa (USSA) tournaments – each sporting code for itself. The indoor volleyball tournament is generally during the winter break in July while the beach volleyball component occurs at the end of the year in November or December. This year 21 universities participated with a total of 39 teams at the USSA indoor volleyball tournament took place from 1-5 July 2019 in Bloemfontein. USSA beach is planned for 2-4 December 2019 in Durban.
Thank you Lubabalo Mnguni for sharing your experience of the tournament:
Indoor Volleyball USSA is one of the biggest volleyball tournaments in the country – and 2019 did not disappoint! Twenty institutions got together in Bloemfontein to fight for bragging rights for the next 12 months. From day one the Tempe Sports Centre lived up to its ‘beyond-the-wall characteristics’.
The crowd forgot about the cold when one of the biggest upsets in the history of USSA unfolded. In the women’s division, the teams from Uni Zulu and NMMU both beat eight-time-USSA-champs VUT in the round robin phase, knocking the team from the Vaal out of the run for the top spot. That was only the beginning of a thrilling five days of near-heart-attacks both on court and in the stands.
The plate division was fought for with a lot of spirit and valour. The VUT women regained their form and topped the bottom bracket while the WSU men earned this consolation prize.
In the main competition the semi finals were as always highly contested. The VUT men beat UKZN in straight sets (3-0) while UniZulu triumphed over TUT in a five-setter (3-2). These scores alone only give a very watered-down impression of the semi-finals, as the crowd was on their feet for every second point.
In the women’s semi finals UWC won against UniZulu (3-0) and UKZN took out TUT (3-0).
Often players in the 3rd / 4th play-offs still have heartaches and lack motivation to play but that was not the case. The men’s bronze-medal match was a competitive five-setter with the last set won by TUT 15-13 against UKZN. The TUT ladies matched their male counterparts’ bronze when they beat UniZulu.
VUT dominated the men’s finals, beating UniZulu in straight sets, and the UWC women also took UKZN with a 3-0 result. At the end it was unbelievable that USSA 2019 had ended and people were still talking about the exciting tournament at the dinner. But there was some comfort that the National USSA squad that was announced at the prize-giving will be competing at the Inter-Provincial Tournament (IPT) in Cape Town later this month, building a portfolio for the World Student Games.
Lubabalo Mnguni (UKZN)
Universities that participated:
- DUT (Durban University of Technology)
- MUT (Mangosuthu University of Technology)
- NMU (Nelson Mandela University)
- NWU (North-West University)
- Rhodes (Rhodes University)
- SMU (Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University)
- Sol Plaatjie (Sol Plaatje University)
- Tuks (University of Pretoria)
- TUT (Tshwane University of Technology)
- UCT (University of Cape Town)
- UFH (University of Fort Hare)
- UFS (University of the Free State)
- UKZN (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
- UL (University of Limpopo)
- UMP (University of Mpumalanga)
- UNIVEN (University of Venda)
- UniZulu (University of Zululand)
- UWC (University of the Western Cape)
- VUT (Vaal University of Technology)
- Wits (University of the Witwatersran)
- WSU (Walter Sisulu University)
Final results (men):
- WSU (Winners plate final)
- Sol Plaatjie
Final results (women):
- VUT (Winners plate final)
- Sol Plaatjie
Winners: VUT men
Winners: UWC women
Individual award winners
Selected USSA national team and reserves
Thank you to Vanessa Sardinha-da Silva for all the photos. Many more photos can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/fzw3hxU3V1GGeDtK7