Sunday, October 25, 2020

Volleyball ladies salvage pride as Olympic dream evaporates

The Botswana Ladies national volleyball team beat Tunisia 3 ÔÇô 2 to clinch position five at the Women’s African Olympic qualifiers. After coming short in their bid to qualify for the Rio 2016 following losses to African powerhouses Algeria and Egypt, Botswana ladies salvaged some pride as they beat Tunisia to ensure they finish the qualifiers on a high note. The win was the second for Botswana at the games, which are hosted in Yaound├®, Cameroon. Despite failing to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics, the local ladies cannot be faulted for lack of effort as they ran Algeria close in their opening match though they were outshone by Egypt. However, their 3 -2 win over Uganda in their final Pool B game meant the local ladies then had to face off against Tunisia in a fifth position playoff. Given the chance to salvage their pride, the local ladies obliged. Against Tunisia, the local ladies displayed some mental fortitude as they did not allow themselves to be demoralized by their opponents’ strong comeback in the third and fourth set. Botswana started the game against Tunisia on the front foot, winning the first set 25 ÔÇô 22. While the local ladies were trailing 7 ÔÇô 8 to Tunisia at the time of the first Technical Time Out, the local ladies proved their mental fortitude, to come from behind and lead 16 ÔÇô 15 when the second TTO was called and then marched on to clinch the first set. The second set however belonged to the local ladies as they led from the onset to eventually win it 25 ÔÇô 22 as well. The local ladies were however pegged back in the third and fourth sets which Tunisia won 17 ÔÇô 25 and 15 ÔÇô 25 respectively to force the game to go to a decider. The local ladies were however not to be denied as they went on to win the deciding set 15 ÔÇô 10 and win the game 3 ÔÇô 2 overall to cause an upset against the much fancied Tunisia.

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