The long passionate hug between Ndejje Elites coach Johnson Kawenyera and setter Winnie Nakabuubi after their victory over Vision Volleyball Camp (VVC) in the NSSF Volleyball League last week spoke volumes.
Ndejje came for their first game of the season against VVC with a point to prove to first team setter Jessica Kaidu.
The reigning league champions from the past two seasons had to rely on 22-year-old Nakabuubi to deliver the message to absent Kaidu as they won the tie 3-2.
“No player is bigger than the team,” said Kawenyera. “Since we returned from Tunisia her (Kaidu) response towards training has been very negative and today she decided to stay home while her teammates came for the game,” he added.
When asked about Kaidu’s whereabouts, Ndejje’s team manager Ivan Kalimunda screamed: “I don’t want to talk about Kaidu, this team just proved today that they can win games without her. Who cares where she is?”
The whole of last week Kawenyera decided to move on and prepare Nakabuubi for the big stage; she lived up to his and her teammates’ expectations.
She took charge of the game guiding Ndejje to the first set 25-23 though they later lost the second 25-11, Ndejje took the third 25-22, but VVC fought to win the fourth 25-23.
At 14-10 VVC were in the driving seat and only needed on point to seal the game, Saidat Nnungi served until 14 all.
In the next rally Margaret Namyalo ballooned Nakabuubi’s set out to give VVC the advantage 15-14. Namyalo was successful on the next rally to force the third deuce of the game (15-15) before VVC’s Rachael Mugabi made it 16-15.
At 16 all Mugabi’s poor block let her down as Ndejje took the lead 17-16.
Then Namyalo served Sharon Pajije who butted the ball and Mugabi failed to recover it for Ndejje to the tiebreak 18-16.
SELECTED SATURDAY RESULTS
Men’s Serie A
KCCA 1-3 Nkumba
Sport-S 3-0 Gulu
Nemostars 3-0 UCU