- Unfavourable weather conditions laid it off for two weeks
- Police beat army boys in a match that belies volleyball’s protracted inactivity
Botswana Volleyball Federation’s (BVF) only running competition, the Liquid Volleyball Tournament, made a massive return over the weekend where the teams came with their guns blazing, each in quest of winning the P10 000 prize money that is up for grabs.
The tournament returned after a two-week break due to unfavourable weather conditions that tempered the tempo of a tournament that involves both men and women’s teams.
The tournament returned with the men’s preliminary contest and women’s quarterfinals at the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (SSKB) outdoor courts in Mogoditshane. It soon gained its momentum with Police VI dominating and winning all of their games against bitter rivals Kutlwano and BDF VI in tightly contested matches.
‘Ditau,’ as they are called in volleyball circles, came with their full team comprising five players who makes the national team, namely Happy Ribbin, Alec Engleton, Sekao Jack, Moemedi Siphambe and Mike Magote.
Their exceptional performance put their team at the summit of the log in Group A after five games. They beat Kutlwano and Mag Stimela and went on to brush the Under 20 boys national team aside 3-0 to emerge the favourites to clinch the title.
However, their close rivals BDF VI gave them a tough time in a tightly contested match in front of fully packed SSKB courts. Police won 3-2 against the army boys after five rounds of sets which stretched to over one and-a-half hours of fulltime play.
In a post-match interview with Gazette Sports, Police head coach Peaceful Seleka attributed their brilliant performance to fitness gained from pre-season games prior to the tournament. “I am very happy with how the boys handled the games,” he said.
“They were focused and did not underestimate their opponents because they were wary of the threat that they posed ahead of the games. What really worked for us was organising the pre-season friendlies to gauge our progress against the strongest teams and it turned out right.
“Most players have been inactive and are rusted. We are going to be taking every game as it comes en route to the semifinals and the finals because we believe that consistency is critical if we are to win the league.”
BVF vice president technical, Ndibo Lebala, said they are happy with the progress of the tournament to see teams in action after a long break of inactivity. “The teams have brought their A-game and we are happy with what we are seeing in the field of play,” he said. “The teams are strong inspite of having been out of action for a while.
“The tournament is unfolding really well and we are achieving our objective full house spectator presence. This is because of the quality that the teams are offering in the field of play. We have also realised that the teams have beefed up their squads with new players, mostly from constituency leagues.”
The semifinals and the finals will be staged on 3 December at a place yet to be announced.
Mag Stimela 3 – 0 Under 20
Police VI 3 – 0 Kutlwano
BDF VI 3 – 0 Under 20
Kutlwano 3 – 1 Mag Stimela
BDF VI 2 – 3 Police VI
Kalavango 3 – 1 Under 20
Dynamites 3 – 0 Spiking Stars
BDF VI 3 – 0 Mag Stimela
Kalavango 3 – 1 Dynamites
Spiking Stars 1 – 3 Under 20