Sport-S, Ndejje shine as volleyball league serves off

Ndejje Elites’ Belindah Jepkirui and Catherine Ainembabazi line up for reception against KCCA. PHOTO/ ISMAIL KEZAALA. 

What you need to know:

The National Club Championship winners blew away the coach-less OBB in straight sets with monstrous blocks from Samuel Engwau and Emmanuel Okia and strong attacks through porous blocks the other side of the net.

The start of the National Volleyball League on Saturday was headlined by the manner in which Sport-S dismissed defending champions OBB and Ndejje Elites’ 3-1 win over KCCA. While the opening fixture of the season ended in a routine 3-0 victory for Sport-S ladies over KAVC, the last piece of action on the day was expected to be a little more competitive than it turned out.

Sport-S did not even have to field their strongest side on the night with Augustine Odongo and Michael Maguoung Mangon handed their league debuts. Johnson Rukundo and Dickens Otim played lesser roles off the bench while Thon Maker took no part in proceedings.

The National Club Championship winners blew away the coach-less OBB in straight sets with monstrous blocks from Samuel Engwau and Emmanuel Okia and strong attacks through porous blocks the other side of the net.

Coached by Warren Muhangi on the day, Sport-S got out of the blocks early and led 6-1 before taking the opening set 25-23. They then took the second and third 25-16 and 25-14 to send a message of what to expect this season.

OBB, playing for the first time after sacking head coach Lawrence Yakan and his assistant Jacob Ssenoga, were in sixes and sevens. Team captain Rajab Kimera and injured opposite Ivan Ongom called the shots on the bench but struggled to manage the game.

Ndejje send statement

Before Sport-S’ demolition on OBB, the women’s league champions Ndejje Elites needed to bounce back from failure to defend the National Club Championship and they did that with a 3-1 win over KCCA.

Ronaldo Kitosi’s charges must dig deep this season after losing four of their starters from last season. Moreen Mwamula, Faith Magole and Jesca Kaidu all left to join OBB and helped the newcomers to a 3-2 win over KCB Nkumba while Supernatural Mbakisimira went to KCCA.

Libero Sumayyah Ndagire and setter Phionah Naziite were in top form on the day while the experience of Belindah Jepkirui came to the fore when needed. Catherine Ainembabazi, playing her first league game for Ndejje, gave the team the required bite on offence.

Nemostars woes continue

Nemostars reached a new low when they failed to make it past the group stages of the National Club Championship in Iganga. There was no quick response though as Andrew Okapis’ charges fell 3-2 to Ndejje Sharks to start the new season.

Team captain George Aporu was quick to take blame and demand more of himself.

“As captain, whom everyone is looking up to, I have to up my performance and the rest will follow,” Aporu told Daily Monitor after the loss.

“The teams needs to concentrate on reducing unforced errors if we are to bounce back. They are too many,” he added.

The six-time champions failed to close out the game after bouncing back from losing the first set to take the next two. Ndejje came from behind in the fourth set to force a decisive and eventually win the game.

It is the third time in a row that Ndejje is beating Nemostars. First was a 3-0 at Ndejje Open then 3-2 at the club championship and now the league opener.


National Volleyball League

Saturday results

Sport-S 3-0 KAVC 25-12, 25-16, 25-20)

Ndejje 3-2 Nemostars (25-20, 26-28, 17-25, 25-20, 15-13)

KCB Nkumba 2-3 OBB (25-13, 22-25, 25-23, 16-25, 09-15)

KAVC 3-0 UCU (25-23, 25-21, 25-17)

Ndejje 3-1 KCCA (25-19, 19-25, 25-21, 25-15)

Sport-S 3-0 OBB (25-23, 25-16, 25-14)

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