MOLEPOLOLE: Police VI underlined their status as a local volleyball giant after dismantling Diphatsha 3-0 in the men’s final of the JB Sports volley tournament here on Saturday.
In the process, Police VI pocketed P17, 000 as they won the tournament that has returned after years of absence. But Police VI did not have it easy against the stubborn Francistown side, and the Cops were forced to dig deep.
The victors proved strong in all departments particularly blocking, attack and a good serve. ‘Ditau’ as Police VI are affectionately known, won the first set 25-10 after taking the lead from the first whistle. Diphatsa were forced to make their first substitution towards the end of the first half, throwing in the fresh hands of Emmanuel Moala for Othusitse Mabikwa in the setting department. Tiroyaone Otimile, who joined Police VI from Kutlwano made his presence felt by punishing Diphatsa with an unstoppable spike at the beginning of the second set. Diphatsa did not lie down. Sekao Jack retaliated with a line ball taking the score to 9-5.
Diphatsa began to play with confidence but Police VI still managed to win the set 25-17. Diphatsa started the third set on a high note, in some instances, wrestling the lead. The capacity crowd that filled Molepolole’s IHS Hall thought the side was on its way to winning the set, but Police VI put paid all hopes. Both sides were neck to neck, playing entertaining volleyball in the third set. Police VI brought in Moemedi Siphambe to beef up their attack. Igobe Sikuku brought everyone in the stands on their feet after hammering a long, powerful spike that left Police VI players frozen to take the game to 17-17. Police VI used their experience and fought back to make sure that they win the tightly contested set 25-20.
In the women’s final, Kutlwano failed to come to the party as Mafolofolo attack, led by
Speaking to Sport Monitor, Mafolofolo coach, Kabo Ntshinogang said he was happy with his side’s service and attack. “It was not an easy match as people might think. Kutlwano is a team that plays very well with a high pace. Thapelo Kamberuka played well, but did not get support from other Kutlwano players. We played well, we got our attack right, reception right and service was very good. That is where the key was,” he said.
For his part, Kutlwano coach, Dopp Popo said his plan was to contain Mafolofolo in the centre where Retshabile was playing and outside where Gasekgonwe was but his players were slow to go out. “Mafolofolo was not going over our blockers, they were beating us in the centre, that is where we lost our game. My players have gained weight and that affected our plans. They are not mobile. They were slow to go out due to that,” Dopp said. He observed that the second set was better than the first because they had some touches especially in blocking. He said the first set was a disaster, which they lost 25-8.
Women: best setter: Kelebogile Mahupela, best attacker: Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe, best blocker: Tsholofelo Retshabile, best libero: Kebabonye Phofedi, best server, Tracy Chaba, MVP: Tsholofelo Retshabile and best coach: Ntshinogang.
Men: best attacker: Percy Riadzi, best server: Happy Ribbin, best blocker: Ribbin, best setter: Phenyo Thebeng, best libero: Meffrey Chindumbo and best coach: Shimaka Thatayaone Ngwanaotsile (Police).