Nemostars, KAVC renew rivalry

Nemostars coach Andrew Okapis gathers his team during a time out for a pep talk. PHOTO/EMANZI NDYAMUHAKI 

What you need to know:

The five-time league winners have played seven games, won six and lost just one to sit second on the ten-team log with 19 points, five behind leaders Sport-S. But their next two games to conclude the first round are the toughest, on paper, against Nemostars and the high-flying Sport-S.

Before OBB defeated Nemostars to win the National Volleyball League April this year, the latter had won the last four titles. KAVC had been the last side to lift the title in 2014 but have since struggled to to live up to the standards set by their arch-rivals.

This year’s first league meeting between the two most successful clubs, however, comes at a time Nemostars are behind KAVC on the log, and that is not something that has happened often in the last decade.

The two sides clash on Saturday at the Old Kampala Arena.

The five-time league winners have played seven games, won six and lost just one to sit second on the ten-team log with 19 points, five behind leaders Sport-S. But their next two games to conclude the first round are the toughest, on paper, against Nemostars and the high-flying Sport-S.

“KAVC happens to be our last match of the first round and it gets us in high moods to wrap up the round on a high,” Nemostars captain George Aporu told Daily Monitor ahead of the game.

“We are prepared to take them on and we shall play our best volleyball like we always do,” he added.

The season has been tough for the six-time champions. It started with defeat at the hand of Ndejje Sharks and there was a 3-0 pummelling by Sport-S.

With one game left on their first-round menu, Andrew Okapis’ troops have won six and lost two. They sit fourth on the log with 17 points and will be looking to move up the table and secure their playoffs slot early in the regular season.

Familiar faces

When the two sides clash, there will be two players on the KAVC side that featured for Nemostars just last season. Libero Emmanuel Elanyu and receiver-attacker Barnabus Tugume were starters for the Kololo-based outfit but have since switched allegiance.

“Of course, Nemostars vs. KAVC is a derby of sorts and this one won’t be any different. It comes when both teams are in good form and this time, KAVC is a head of Nemostars, something that has not happened in the recent past,” Aporu noted.

 “The game will also have players who have just left Nemostars and that will be fun.”

 KAVC have largely relied on opposite Geoffrey Onapa’s offense to stay in the top half of the table but will have a tougher test against a Nemostars that still boasts the seniority of Aporu, setter Smith Okumu and middle blocker Bernard Malinga.

 

National Volleyball League

Saturday fixtures (Old Kampala)

Nkumba vs. Sky -10am

OBB vs. VVC -12pm

KCB-Nkumba vs. KCCA -2pm

KAVC vs. Nemostars -4pm

Sunday fixture (Old Kampala)

Ndejje vs. Espoir -12pm

KAVC vs. OBB -2pm

KCCA vs. Sport-S -4pm

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