Oranje claim ‘unofficial’ bragging rights

Donna le Roux PHOTO: ORANJE

The hosts, Hoër Meisieskool Oranje, are once against the champions of the Amanda Coetzer Tennis tournament in Bloemfontein.

The prestigious tournament was played in the City of Roses last week and it saw eight of the top girls’ tennis teams in the country battling it out for the unofficial title of the top team in South Africa. The event took place for the first time since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic which derailed numerous sporting events in the country for the past two years.

The tournament, which is named after the Free Stater and arguably the best women’s singles tennis player South Africa has ever produced, Amanda Coetzer. The Hoopstad-born Coetzer is also an alumnus of the school.

Oranje were in sublime form throughout the tournament and they won the event in convincing fashion by beating the 13-time and defending champions, Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof, from Stellenbosch in the final. While Oranje claimed the final 5-1, the semi-final against Paarl Girls’ High School was when Oranje truly impressed by fighting back from 3-0 down to win 4-3 and set up the final against Bloemhof.

The coach of Oranje, MC Olivier, told Bloemfontein Courant that he was impressed with the manner in which the girls were able to cope with the pressure, especially in a home tournament.

“It’s always special playing against Bloemhof,” said the renowned coach.

“In the past 20 years they have settled themselves as the best tennis schools in the country. So, it’s always special beating Bloemhof. I’m extremely proud of the girls for the manner in which they handled the pressure. There is always that added bit of pressure when you are playing at home, so I’m proud of the way they handled it.”

Oranje now has won the annual tournament for a fifth time since its inception in 1997. – MORGAN PIEK