Volleyball qualifiers: Women through, men stumble

The women's volleyball team has qualified for the African Games PIC: BVF
The women's volleyball team has qualified for the African Games PIC: BVF

The women’s volleyball team is through to the African Games, but there was no joy for the men’s side after zonal qualifiers in Mozambique this week.

Botswana women comprehensively beat their hosts 3-0 in the final of the Zone 6 qualifiers on Wednesday to secure progress to the African Games, which Morocco hosts from August 19 to 31, 2019.

Botswana won the first set 25-13, before a closely contested second ended 25-22, and the girls wrapped the third 25-18. Only six nations, turned up for both the women and men’s competitions, with eSwatini being the other contestant. Botswana women finished top of the standings ahead of Mozambique while eSwatini anchored the standings.

Coach Kabo Ntshinogang had said the team was not under pressure to qualify for the African Games after a rusty spell without any domestic action.

However, the women defied odds and will now join other nations for the competition in Rabat, Morocco.

In the first game on Monday, Botswana beat whipping girls, eSwatini 3-0 (25-8, 25-16,25-22), before their win over Mozambique on Wednesday ensured qualification.

Their male counterparts, kicked off their campaign with a similar but hard fought 3-0 (25-20, 28-26, 25-22) win.

But they came unstuck against Mozambique despite going into the third set level at 1-1.  Botswana eventually succumbed 3-1 to crash out of contention.

Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) vice president, George Keotsene said the lack of local competitions had an impact on the teams.

“As you are aware, this year we do not have local competitions so it was always going to be tough,” he said.

“Fortunately, for the women, they were able to go through. Hopefully, now we can have better preparations for the actual games.”

Keotsene said there were a number of issues that did not go the men’s way during the competition.  “Unfortunately for the men, a number of things did not go our way, leading to the team not making it through. We should, however, use this as an opportunity to rebuild our team for future competitions,” he said.

Editor's Comment
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