It was a case of baptism of fire for the South African under 20 women’s volleyball team when they faced the tall and strongly built Indian team in their opening match of the 2018 BRICS GAMES at Wits University’s Old Mutual Sports Hall.
Height, agility and a penchant for quick power play by the Indians sent the SA ladies reeling to a straight sets defeat (3-0), 25-12; 25-9; 25-14).
Having raced to a 12-5 lead in double quick time in the opening minutes of the first set the Asian team’s crafty setter, Sabu unleashed her attack force with tailor made sets to close the set with a resounding 25-12 win.
Early in the encounter the Indian team zoomed in on SA team’s libero, Limpopo Molife who struggled in reception. As if it was manna from heaven the Indians made her (Molife) the focus of attention as all their serves were directed to her. Poor passing resulted in poor sets to the SA attackers who found the goings tough to post valuable points on the board. Unable to beat the tall Indian blockers SA slumped to a humiliating 25-9 defeat in the second set.
South Africa could have seized the opportunity in the 3rd set to turn the tables on the high riding Indian team who went on to lose focus in the encounter. Committing far too many unforced errors SA should have stepped up a gear to score quick points. Had SA setter Mmatswele Mary Mayone made greater use of the lanky Nelia Tembe things could have panned out differently. The lanky outside hitter had the beating of the Indian blockers every time that she connected with Mayone’s sets and to this end the lack of service to her puzzled the SA supporters.
Trailing by a two point difference (10-12) the SA ladies fell foul to uncoordinated blocking and poor reception in the back court. With the score at 20-13 in favour of the Indians it became apparent that the home side was on a slippery slope heading fast for the bottom.
Refocusing on the job at hand India wrapped up the set with a 25-14 win.
Volleyball South Africa Media
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