NATIONAL VOLLEYBALL LEAGUE 2022 Tempe Military Base Sports Centre, Bloemfontein, Free State Semi-final Matches

The old adage, ‘the cream floats to the top’ best describes the contestants in the semi-final stages of the 2022 NVL hosted by Volleyball South Africa at the Tempe Military Base Sports Centre in Bloemfontein from 26 to 30 September.

In the first women’s semi-final clash between Mpumalanga and Limpopo the former dominated from the first whistle and secured a commanding 26-15 win in the opening set. A spirited fight back in the 2nd set almost led to Mpumalanga’s untimely defeat. Sheer determination to contain the rampant Limpopo attackers paid off. Mpumalanga went on to grab a hard fought 26-24 victory, much to the dismay of the
Limpopo fans. Mpumalanga secured their place at Friday’s final when they comfortably defeated their opponents by a 25-17 margin.

The 2nd semi-final match between tournament favourites, Gauteng and KZN proved to be too powerful for the hapless KZN outfit who were demolished in straight sets (3-0); (25-12; 25-11; 25-10) to meet Mpumalanga in the finals of the 2022 National Volleyball League women’s final. The Gauteng men’s team coach, Shaldrack Maitisa had the luxury of depth among the players on the substitution bench, which many of the provincial teams envied. Faced with a ‘healthy headache’ Maitisa’s players knew that they will have to go the extra few kilometres to secure a place in the team. To this end the players displayed
sheer guts and determination to win every encounter.

Gauteng’s attacking trio, Danilo von Ludwiger, Baholo Makhomo and Kgotatso Mamabolo were in fine form as they posted an effortless straight sets win (3-0), (25-16; 25-17,25-20) to advance to the men’s final on Friday. However, the match of the day was between the defending champions KZN and the
Western Cape Cranes which the latter won by 3 sets to 1 (25-21; 25-20; 14-25; 25-21). KZN’s Reo Ramdeen was in superb form, posting a number of crucial points.

Sadly, Ramdeen alone could not stop the Cranes power attacker, Clinton Stemmet, SA National team stalwart from running riot in attack. The Cranes won the first two sets putting them in pole position to join Gauteng in the final.

In the 3 rd set the battle at the net brought loud cheers from the crowd who showed their appreciation every step of the way by encouraging their favourite teams. KZN’s Hinesh Purbhoo and Kiveshan Bhagwandeen turned the tables on the Cranes with a 25-14 thrashing.

It was the attacking prowess of skipper Clinton Stemmet and the vast experience of setter Antonio Roussouw and veteran middle blocker Margo Daniels that helped the Western Cape outfit to secure a hard fought 25-21 win to meet Gauteng in the men’s final on Friday at the Tempe Military Base in Bloemfontein.

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