2012 Cape Town memories

This page displays the journey of the first every wholly American Collegiate team as they travelled to Cape Town, South Africa in 2012.

We will update this page as we build our Collegiate Squad for 2016.

In the meantime, enjoy the journey that was…….Follow the first ever American National Netball Team on their journey of inspiration and leadership as they prepare for the inaugral World University Championships.  You will hear about the benefits and challenges of developing a national sporting team in a country where Netball is not played in Universities.

Latest updates from the South Africa World University Netball Championships

Day 1 Update – Team travels through Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York before heading to South Africa

South African Airways gives a shout out to the USA Netball team aboard the flight from JFK to Johannesburg.  National Coach Ilze updates us and so does President Sonya from up in the air!

USA Netball athlete Grace Hoyt gives an update from JFK on her way to South Africa.

Day 2 Update – Team at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls,  Henley-on-Klip, South Africa

President Sonya addresses the juniors from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.  Hear Sonya also speak some Zulu to the students.

Watch the reactions of the girls from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls as they hear the most beautful song and USA Netball theme song ‘River of Life’ graciously lent by one of our biggest Netball supporters American Idol Michael Johns.

Listen to the athletes talk about their experience at the Academy: Shelly-Ann (C)and Jordan (VC), Emi & Ellen, Erin & ShericaLaura and Grace.

Day 3 Update – Team travels to Stellenbosch.  The team’s strength and conditioning coach gives all girls flexibility test.

Coach Ilze, Assistant Coaches Francois Nel and Sandra Du Plessis as well as sports conditioner Trudine Nel give their first updates from the ground in South Africa.  Captain Shallyn, Vice Captain Jordan, ShericaEmi, Erin & Ellen, Laura & Grace provide updates from Stellenbosch.

Day 4 Update – Team has technical sessions, watches 2 top universities play in USSA games, and has a match against open team in Stellenbosch.

Day 5 Update – USA Netball Team arrives into Cape Town and attends the Flag Ceremony.

President Sonya and Coach Ilze discuss realistic expectations at the Championships: Part 1 and Part 2Assistant Coach Sandra Du Plessis provides an update from the Flag Ceremony.  Watch the team walk out for the flag ceremony.

Shallyn & Jordan, Grace, Emi & Ellen, Erin Laura & Sherica provide updates from the court at the Good Hope Center.

Day 6 Update – Opening Ceremonies and 1st match: USA vs Zimbabwe, 10am EST.  Live Streaming at – http://www.livestream.com/rugbyafricatv

Hear from the Coaching Staff and President as they talk with the team before their very first international match.  Watch the team as they walk out for their very first international match and making American Netball history.

It was neck and neck the entire game, on the buzzer the score was 35 all and then the umpire gave a penalty shot to Zimbabwe and the final score was 36-35 to Zimbabwe.  The coaches were so proud of the ladies, and everyone was coming up to us in the stadium congratulating us as it really was a great effort the ladies put in and they really surprised everyone – most of all Zimbabwe!!

Day 7 Update – USA vs Northern Ireland.   Coaches said game was successful.  You will see we managed to decrease Ireland’s score each qtr. Breakdown: Quarter 1: 22-2 (Nthn Ireland /USA) Q2: 16-3 Q3: 16-6 Q4: 13-5.   Ireland was chasing 100 and our goal was to keep them under 80.  Final score 67-16.  Hear what it means to receive your support from Emi & GraceEllen & Laura give an update on their July 4th at the World Champs.

Day 8 Update – USA vs South Africa.  Another successful day  – again improvements in all qtrs – considering they were playing against the experienced Sth African Team whom the majority play for the national open team.  Even the Sth African coach came up and congratulated us and the crowd was really behind USA and their comments are that the team fought to the end: Qtr 1: 0-28 (USA / Sth Africa) Qtr 2: 1-24 Qtr 3: 4-20 Qtr 4: 9-21 Final score: 93-14 (so our goal of keeping them at 100 was met) and if you compare Zimbabwes results they lost 110-12 against Sth Africa.  Media coverage from International University Sports Federation.   Grace & Emi give another thanks out to supporters.

Day 9 Update – USA vs Great Britain, 10am EST.  The USA Netball Team is certainly the crowds favorite here in Cape Town – the cheers the team receives everytime they run on court is amazing.  The crowd told us they love the passion they see and that the team fights till the very end.  As we knew going into this, very tough to play top 3 teams in the world 3 days in a row and for our  USA Netball Team being so young, did an amazing job fighting to the end.  Breakdown of tonights game: Q1: 4-17 (USA/Great Britain(GBR) – excellence defense and hassle by USA Q2: 0-21 – GBR changed defense tactis, after a strong 1st qtry by USA, team thought 2nd qtr would be better, however dropped and hassle dropped with it Q3:4-23: made some switches to throw off GBR.  Coach had some focus words to say to team.  Emi had 100% shooting stats. Q4: 6-21: Shallyn had 100% shooting stats.  USA Netball Team adapted to GBRs defensive style and new fight and energy came from the team. Overall: 82-14, so again goal to keep them at 80 – just missed it by 2.

Day 10 Update – USA vs Uganda, 10am EST.  Watch live at http://www.livestream.com/rugbyafricatv

Previous updates:

Month 1

Read the official USA Netball Team press release.

President Sonya Ottaway discusses how Netball America was selected to take the first ever American team to the World University Championships.  Hear from the newly selected national Coach Ilze Gideons and also from Francois Nel, the Team Analyst and Technical Advisor who was recruited from South Africa to assist the team.

Hear Jordan’s incredible story on how Netball changed her life after spending 5 years in a wheelchair.  News article on Jordan KeenEMU Student Overcomes Chronic Nerve Disorder to Play on First Ever American National Netball Team

Here about why these athletes want to represent the USA – Jordan Keen, Laura Adams and Shallyn Reeves.

Month 2

President Sonya Ottaway’s update.

Coach Ilze Gideons Video Blog

Jordan Keen’s Week 2 Video Blog and Week 3 Video Blog

Month 3

Watch the video of the USA Netball Team singing with American Idol Michael Johns in Los Angeles and catch up with President Sonya Ottaway and Captain Shallyn Reeves.

Coach Ilze Gideons Video Blog and listen to her discuss challenges here and listen to her LA Blog here.

Listen to what the 3 newest athletes to Netball have to say about representing the USA and how their athleticism from other sports helped them learn Netball.

Captain, Shallyn Reeve’s Video BlogVice Captain, Jordan Keen’s Video BlogSherica Minott’s Video Blog and her recent LA visitErin Sparks Video Blog and her trip to Los AngelesGrace Hoyt’s Video Blog and hear about her team training in Los Angeles.  Ellen Kortesoja’s Video Blog and hear about her first trip to California for USA Netball training.  Laura Adams Video Blog and her 2nd team training.

Coach Ilze Gideons Video Blog about wrap up of the first training camp

Hear from the newest Netball athletes: Ellen, Grace and Erin discuss their team training.

Month 4

President Sonya Ottaway, discusses (from North Shore, Hawaii) the teams upcoming visit to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls as well as the backstory behind the amazing USA Netball theme song performed by American Idol Michael Johns.

Coach Ilze Gideons discusses national teams first tournament.  Hear from Ellen and Erin as they head to the Atlanta Braves games after a tough weekend tournament.

Newest member to the team Emily Guimond discusses her first tournament in Atlanta and hear what she has to say about the USA Netball Theme Song.

Hear about Erin Sparks, Vice Captain Jordan Keen, Grace Hoyt and Ellen Kortesoja’s update from Atlanta tournament and training session, Laura Adams update and Sherica Minott’s.

Netball America enters the USA Netball Team in their first Netball tournament at Gems tournament Atlanta.  Hear from Grace, Erin and Ellen – it’s their first ever Netball tournament.


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