Kutlwano Ladies Volleyball team’s march towards the Mascom Volleyball League Log summit continued unabated this past Saturday. ‘Big House,’ as the team is affectionately called, beat rivals Kalavango 3 -1 in a highly contested encounter to continue their undefeated start to the season. While Kutlwano lost only a single set in the encounter, it was by no means plain sailing for the team as Kalavango gave the contest their all and even looked likely to cause an upset.
While both teams made their intentions clear from the onset, it was Kutlwano, who had among others, Tracy Chaba and Karabo Molefha who had the best start to the game, easily racing to a three point lead over their rivals. Kalavango however did not take things lying down and rallied from behind to tie the set level at 16 points each, with the evergreen Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe leading the fight back.
Despite the valiant effort from Gasekgonwe and company, it was eventually Kutlwano who edged the encounter 27 ÔÇô 25 to take the first set. Into the second set, it was Kutlwano who played with better purpose and imposed themselves on the game earlier on. After establishing an early six point lead over their rivals, ‘Big House’ never looked back and easily won the set 25 ÔÇô 18, to take a 2 ÔÇô 0 lead over Kalavango. Things however changed in the third set as Kalavango rallied back to avoid an embarrassing defeat at the hands of their rivals. In a highly contested set, Kalavango had Gasekgonwe to thank for their spirited comeback that saw them win the third set 25 ÔÇô 18. ‘Lizzie,’ as Gasekgonwe is affectionately called, single handedly won the set for Kalavango as she hit a series of serves and spikes to drag her team to a comfortable set win.
Despite her valiant effort, there was little she could do as Kutlwano reasserted their dominance in the fourth set to win the game. In another set of slim margins, it was Kutlwano who eventually saw off the set by 25 ÔÇô 23 to win the game 3 ÔÇô 1. In another game, Mahalapye based Mag Stimela continued their struggle at the bottom of the ladies League Log after losing 3 ÔÇô 2 to Spiking Stars. Despite taking Spiking Stars all the way in their encounter, the Botswana Railways’ sponsored team could not break their winless streak. In an entertaining but error strewn encounter between the two teams, it was Spiking Stars who took the first set 25 ÔÇô 22 to take a 1 ÔÇô 0 lead. After that early setback, Mag Stimela came into the second set more determined as they sought their first win of the season. With the inspired Ngirl Wright leading their attack, the Mahalapye team opened a sizeable 15 ÔÇô 3 lead and never looked back as they won the set 25 ÔÇô 10 to level the game at 1 set each. While the third set swayed from side to side, it was Spiking Stars who regained the lead, beating Mag Stimela 25 ÔÇô 21 to go 2 ÔÇô 1 up.
With a fourth successive loss looking much likely and with nothing to lose, it was Mag Stimela who came into the fourth set guns blazing, opening an early 7 point lead as they wrestled the match away from Spiking Stars. The Mahalapye based team then did well as they maintained their lead to convincingly win the fourth set 25 ÔÇô 18 and send the game to a fifth and deciding set. Despite their fight back, it was another futile attempt for Mag Stimela as they lost the final set 15 ÔÇô 8. The result means Mag Stimela continues to be rooted at the bottom of the log standings while Spiking Stars and will have to wait a while for their first win of the season.