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Volleyball National Team Finishes 11th In Africa

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  • Manages one win from the games
  • Inactivity at club level to blame for team’s performances

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

Botswana Men’s National Volleyball Team finished eleventh (11th) at this year’s Africa volleyball championships which were hosted this past week in Cairo, Egypt. The tournament which has been dominated by North and West African countries over the years looks to identify the best of the best in African volleyball.
This year’s competition had an added twist to it, as the winners would represent the continent at the 2018 World Championships in Russia. Botswana went into the games with the  hope of improving their position from the last tournament, where they finished seventh (7th), which is also their highest finish at this particular competition.
Drawn against one of the tournament favourites Algeria, Rwanda and Chad, the locals went down 3-0 to Algeria in the opening game, before another defeat at the hands of Rwanda. However, they managed to get a win at the expense of Chad in the last group game. This left the team in contention of 9th -12 position, where they meet Ghana, but lost 3-0.
Left with a chance to redeem themselves, Botswana went on to thrash Chad again 3-0 to finish 11th at the games. Much of this performance has been blamed on the absence of several players, that many believed were deserving of a national team call up such as ;Kabo Moetse,Ephraim Kuteeue, Libion Machae, Kesaobaka Lenkopane, Phemelo Lekoko, Jackson Kewakae and Nonofo Motswetla.
From the list above, Kewakae and Motswetla are currently plying their trade in South Africa. Another factor that has been credited with this poor showing is the absence of the local volleyball league. Local clubs have been inactive for more than a year now since the contract between the Botswana Volleyball Association and Mascom elapsed late last year. The team is expected back home sometime this week.

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