The Monitor :: Mag Stimela Clinches Historic League Title
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Last Updated
Friday 19 October 2018, 15:27 pm.
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Mag Stimela Clinches Historic League Title

PALAPYE: On Saturday Mag Stimela women’s team re-wrote history books when they became the first team from the north of Dibete to clinch the Mascom Volleyball league title.
By Koketso Kgoboge Mon 08 Oct 2018, 12:03 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Mag Stimela Clinches Historic League Title








Mag Stimela that has been carrying a game in hand came into the final weekend has been on the coattails of a long time log leaders Mafolofolo. They had two matches and six points to play for while Mafolofolo had only three last points on the table.

In what was a trident battle, Kutlwano that were lagging two points behind the Mahalapye girls also had a say where the pendulum will stop.

Mag Stimela coach, Maboka Molefi said he had no doubts that his side will challenge perennial champions after he introduced four experienced players in the off-season. He said the quad fitted like a hand in the glove to his side and led his young charges.

They had bolstered their young squad with three national team players in Gabaresepe Masalaole, Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe and Tsholofelo Ketshabile from Mafolofolo and Ntesang Kelaotswe from Kalavango.

“We have an undoubtedly great team. We were the best prepared and we were a team to beat this season. We introduced experienced players and they carried our candle. We knew from the onset that we are destined for the silverware and we are happy we have re-wrote the history books,” the emotional Molefhe said after their win against Kutlwano.

In their opening game against Dynamites, Mag Stimela swivelled through to set themselves up for the title. They lost the first set 20-25 and were stronger in the second with a 25-22 win before they showed their mettle with a 25-14 and 25-15 in the final two sets.

Their final game of the season against former champions Kutlwano, carried all the hallmarks of a final with the solid all-round play from both ends. Kutlwano was determined to cut the tracks of the rail giants but Mag Stimela needed only two sets to become unassailable champions.

Both sides came out guns blazing in the opening set that was back and forth until Kutlwano gained a two-point lead at 20-18. They held to the advantage and drove home to a 25-21 to claim the first set.

A fierce battle ensued in set number two. Kutlwano was exceptional at the start of the set, Tebogo Sejewe and Merapelo Tshimologo contributed

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remarkable kills to hand their side a healthy five-point lead at 11-6.

Molefi had to call time to convey instructions and they returned inspired, cutting the deficit to 15-13. Kutlwano took the lead to 19-15 but the experienced trio of Masalaole, Gasekgonwe and Ketshabile took the bull by the horns.

Masalaole and Gasekgonwe wre able to pick the holes in Kutlwano’s box with kills, aces and dumbs, while Ketshabile complemented them with nine surefooted serves before the opposing Tracy Chaba’s long serve out gave them the second set 25-23.

Mag Stimela smelt blood and raced to 6-0 lead in the third set. Kutlwano fought back to close the gap to two at 15-17, but Gasekgonwe and Masalaole showed why they are regarded one of the best outside hitters of the nation.

They aced and killed from both wings and the team was solid, digging up all Kutlwano attacks and their serving was also remarkable. They won the set 25-23. The fourth set was a formality but the new champions were not letting anything to chance.

Kutlwano wanted it more but Stimela had grown a neck and the battle was immense. The set went to 7-7, Stimela took the lead to 13-8 and Kutlwano turned the tables to lead 12-13.

Spectators were glued to their seats as the two teams battled fiercely and the set went to a deuce at 24-24 before Stimela killed the game 26-24.

Kutlwano coach, Isaac Samuel felt they matched Stimela but serving let them down. He said he was disappointed with their league position.

“I am disappointed we had prepared to be champions but it’s unfortunate, we had a number of recurring injuries that set us off. We matched our opponents, but we lost because we lacked in serving and they were clinical,” he said.

Molefi admitted the last game was tough despite a 3-1 win. He said the girls showed maturity and mental strength. “We knew what was on the plate and we fought bravely. We are the deserving champions.”

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