NATIONAL VOLLEYBALL LEAGUE 2018
SECOND WEEKEND FIXTURES (9-11 March)
DIAMOND KUDUS V. FREE STATE GIANTS
In this fixture both teams were in search of their first win in the NVL after having suffered defeats in their respective week one fixtures.
Starting as favourites in this encounter the talented Free State lads annihilated their opponents by posting a quick fire 25-6 score line to win the opening set.
Whilst the 25-6 thrashing of Diamond Kudus boosted the morale of the Free State Giants, their over confidence resulted in a temporary state of lethargy which allowed the Northern Cape’s Diamond Kudus back into contention with skipper Michael Smith spearheading the attack. With confusion rearing its ugly head, the Free State team seemingly saw the set slip through their fingers.
From a 20-15 deficit Diamond Kudus levelled matters at 23-23, only to lose the crucial set by a 26-24 margin.
Putting aside the scare experienced by the Free State lads in the 2nd set they swung into action and kept ahead on the points scoring, eventually winning by a 25-15 score line.
MPUMALANGA BUFFALO V WESTERN CRANES
It was rather unfortunate that newcomers at this level of competition, the winless Mpumalanga Buffalo had to face tournament favourites, Western Cranes in their third match of the competition giving them little or no hope of salvaging a win against the high riding team from Cape Town.
With being on the losing side in their first two matches a crest fallen Buffalo conceded to a 25-9 beating in double quick time.
With pride at stake the team from Mpumalanga threw caution to the wind and took the fight to their more experienced opponents from the Western Cape.
While creditable performances were put in by attackers, Thokozani Sibiya, Thabo Kotola and Tebogo Ranala it was often difficult getting past the Cranes defence with “big blockers” Velisa Ntshunshu and Ivan Solomons taking care of matters at the net.
Left handed attacking machine, Ethan May was especially devastating every time he connected with back up setter, Marshallino Julies who did not disappoint his coach as he brought the best out of his attackers with a variety of creative sets.
Skipper Clinton Stemmet and Freedom Chiya added to the misery of the Buffaloes as they piled on the pressure to take the set with a 25-15 score.
With effortless wins in the first two sets Cranes’ coach, Yusuf Groenewald had the luxury of ringing up the changes to give his 2nd string players a spell on court.
Regardless of a spirited fight back from the Buffaloes the Western Cape outfit closed proceedings in straight sets when they ended the 3rd set by a 25-17 margin to win the encounter in straight sets (3-0).
MAPUNGUBWE WARRIORS V NORTH WEST DYNAMITES
The final match on Day 1 of the 2nd weekend fixtures of the 2018 National Volleyball League between Mapungubwe Warriors and North West Dynamites was not an explosive affair as the fans expected in the opening minutes of the encounter. The slow paced match kept the score board ticking evenly up to 12-12 when suddenly the set exploded with attacking, blocking and desperate attempts to keep the ball alive in the back court. The action packed display of power volleyball thrilled and entertained the fans. The Warriors went on to take the set with a 25-16 score line.
Continuing with their winning ways the Limpopo team fought courageously to stay ahead in the set with playmaker Matsobane Frans keeping his attackers busy by spraying the sets to bring the best out of his attack force. Their efforts were rewarded with a 25-17 and 25-11 win to out gun the North West Dynamites in straight sets (3-0).