The 2nd edition of the Tubby Reddy Classic (TRC), a national club championship for men and women’s volleyball teams got off to a sparkling start at the John Barabble Hall in Benoni, Gauteng.
As a gateway tournament for the African Zone 6 club championship, the TRC attracted a strong field of the country’s elite teams who dazzled and thrilled the fans with sizzling on court action, a fitting end for VSA’s indoor club championships for the 2019 season.
The men’s group B, dubbed ‘group of death’ featured KZN’s Liberte the runners in the 2018 Tubby Reddy Classic being pitted against the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), the University of Free State (UOFS) and the star studded Aqua Darshan, whose Masters team were crowned champions in the 2019 European Masters Championship in Italy. On day 2 Liberte and VUT headed group B with 4 points each.
In group C, Eastleigh Kings and Predators, finalists in the 2019 VSA Cup held in Bloemfontein recently became joint leaders with 4 points after posting two straight wins. While the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) emerged as comfortable leaders in the group by winning all their matches, the shock of the tournament was the back to back defeat suffered by Maidstone, the winners of the 2018 Tubby Reddy Classic that was staged in Durban. Maidstone lost to youngsters, Johannesburg Spikers and TUT, beating only Mpumalanga’s Beat Masters in the group stage.
The final match in the women’s round robin fixture between TUT and VUT was a real cracker that all the ingredients of a final. Power attacking, lightning quick cover play and clinical blocking were the order of the day. The tightly contested opening set went in favour of VUT by a breath taking 29-27 margin. TUT must be credited for their fighting spirit that earned them a well deserved win by a 25-22 margin in the 2nd set that levelled matters 1-1.
Long drawn out rallies and the power play at the net brought on loud cheers from the fans. The experience of VUT at this level of competition gave them the edge to close proceedings in the 3rd and 4th sets with a 25-18; 25-20 score line to head to the semi-finals on Friday.
The semi-final matches for both genders will be played on Friday.
DONOVAN NAIR VSA SG