The 2015 Mascom Volleyball League season got off to a banger this past Saturday with some thrilling matches at the Molepolole Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) indoor facility. In an action packed weekend, the raucous crowd at the matches were treated to three five set thriller matches, two of which ended with comeback wins while one, a high stakes match between men’s defending Kutlwano and last season’s runners up BDF VI ended with a failed comeback attempt by champions Kutlwano.
In what was probably the pick of the weekend’s clashes, it was the BDF VI men who beat Kutlwano 3 ÔÇô 2 to lay a claim for this season’s honours from the onset. After a cautious start by both sides, it was BDF VI who started taking charge of the proceedings, putting their opponents under immense pressure and racing to a four point lead, forcing Kutlwano mentor Isaac Samuel to call time. Inspired by the likes of Theko Baruti, Disang Golekanye and Kabo Moetse, BDF VI was in a mean mood and handily won the first set 25 ÔÇô 19 to take lead in the match. The tables however turned in the second set as Kutlwano started the brighter of the two teams. After a lethargic start, Kutlwano came alive in the second set, thanks to their captain and middle blocker Shadrack Kapeko, together with the duo of Reabetswe Jaba and Thabang Ramochele.
With their stars now asserting their influence on the game, ‘Big House,’ as Kutlwano is affectionately called, raced to a 25 ÔÇô 17 win of the second set to level the scores at 1 ÔÇô 1. In what was developing into a tit-for-tat affair, BDF VI got first off the blocks in the third set, racing to a 7 ÔÇô 3 lead over their opponents and forcing Kutlwano to call time. Whatever coach Samuel said to his charges seemed to work as Kutlwano found their feet again and overhauled BDF VI’s four point lead to level points at 8 ÔÇô 8. From then on, there was little to differentiate the two as they were separated by at least a point. Despite suffering a setback when Golekanye got injured, BDF VI persevered and edged the third set 27 ÔÇô 25 to take a 2 ÔÇô 1 lead. If Kutlwano needed an inspiration in the do or die fourth set, they then found it in Kapeko. With the teams tied at 23 ÔÇô 23 and BDF VI threatening to take the set and end the match, the veteran captain took charge of the set and scored three consecutive points, though BDF VI managed to cancel them out. However, after Tiroyaone Otimile scored a point that took Kutlwano to a 27 ÔÇô 26 lead, it was Kapeko who won the set for his team as his fierce return serve bounced off a blocker and went out to give Kutlwano a 28 ÔÇô 26 win and take the game to a decider.
Just as the past two sets, there was little to separate the two in the deciding set. Despite a spirited fight from their opponents, it was BDF VI who shaded off the set, winning it 15 ÔÇô 13 to win the game 3 ÔÇô 2. In another match, Spiking Stars women’s volleyball team came back from a 2 ÔÇô 0 deficit to win 3 -2 against Mag Stimela. After losing the first two sets 17 ÔÇô 25 and 24 ÔÇô 26, Spiking Stars then won the third and fourth sets by 25 ÔÇô 14 and 25 ÔÇô 19 to send the game to a decider, which they then proceeded to win 15 ÔÇô 13.
In yet another game, Mafolofolo ladies also came back from a 2 ÔÇô 0 deficit against Kalavango to win their first match of the season. Having lost the first two sets 28 ÔÇô 26 and 25 ÔÇô 14 to Kalavango, Mafolofolo rallied back to take the third and fouth sets 25 ÔÇô 16 and 28 ÔÇô 26 to level matters before taking the deciding set 15 ÔÇô 13 to edge Kalavango 3 ÔÇô 2. In the opening game of the season, Police VI men beat Mag Stimela 25 ÔÇô 14, 25 ÔÇô 13 and 25 ÔÇô 14 in three consecutive sets to get their season off to a great start with a 3 ÔÇô 0 win. Meanwhile, the Mascom Volleyball League action is set to continue this coming Saturday with matches slated for Molepolole and Serowe.
Molepolole IHS will host six matches from 9am to 7pm while the six games scheduled for Serowe will be played from 10am to 8pm.