Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Spiking Stars halt Police VI’S unbeaten run

Police VI men’s Volleyball team’s sixteen game unbeaten league streak is over. The cops’ winning run was unexpectedly brought to an end by Ramotswa based outfit Spiking Stars Volleyball Club. “Mawet,” as Spiking Stars is affectionately known in the volleyball circles, beat Police VI 3 ÔÇô 2 in a hard fought match that was played on Saturday at Lobatse Sports Complex.

Following their 3 ÔÇô 1 loss to Kalavango last week, no one had given Spiking Stars a chance to beat Police VI, who were by then the only team without a loss since the Mascom Volleyball League season started.

Despite the odds against them, the Ramotswa based outfit surprised many and underlined their pedigree in the league as they tore apart the cloak of invisibility that had surrounded Police VI. 

The match was a closely contested and hard to predict as both teams showed character and class in the first two sets. Spiking Stars won te first set 30 ÔÇô 28, only for Police VI to win the next 25 ÔÇô 22 to level matters. Stars however reassumed their lead on the third set, only to be pegged back again as they lost the fourth set to Police VI, sending the game into a deciding set. ‘Mawet’ were however not to be denied as they took control of proceedings on the deciding set, convincingly beating Police VI 15 ÔÇô 7 to win the match 3- 2 overall.

Spiking Stars Coach Kealeboga Mmekwane said they came into the game as wounded lions from the last week’s loss, hence the good results they recorded against the powerhouses.

“We prepared well because we knew we were going to play the best team and the other advantage was that we went into that game as underdogs and it relieved us of pressure because we had nothing to lose. I knew the strengths and weakness of our opponents and  I have studied their key player who is the setter Tjiyapo Madeluka and we practiced to block the dangerous balls that he usually sets for Happy Ribbin in the center and our tactics worked,” said Mmekwane.

He further stated that changing and shuffling players around the pitch was mainly to confuse their opponents in order to daunt them from getting their style of play.

“At some point they came hard on us and they were beginning to realize our style of play but I started switching my players around to puzzle them and we killed their drive. They have a pool of good players but they lack in attack and they only rely on same players. That’s how we tore them apart,” added Mmekwane.

It was Alec Engleton and Happy Ribbin’s efforts which nearly gave the cops the lead in the 4th set but Mawet through Taolo Lebakeng and Bampoloki Letshwithi fought to the bitter end to clinch their much needed win.

Police remain top of the Log standings with 49 points 17 games of play ahead of their arch rivals Kutlwano who are on 2nd position with 43 points, two games behind the Cops.Spiking Stars remains hopeful for podium finish with 36 points, 4 points behind 3rd placed BDF 6.

Coach Mmekawane added that they “intend to carry forth their electrifying form to the next games when they league resumes in October”.

Meanwhile still in Lobatse Mafolofolo Ladies Volleyball Club known as Powerful tore apart Kutlwano Ladies to claim 3 straight sets in a match that was played at Lobatse sports complex on Sunday.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper