The Volleyball Cranes are learning tough lessons at the African Nations Championship in Rwanda.
Coach Shilla Omuriwe has called on her team to take care of the basics of the game and forget what is not in their control.
In the last Group A game against Rwanda, Uganda was obviously jittery for most of the first set as the partisan crowd rallied the home team.
“We needed to calm down but with the noise in the arena, we could hardly get through to them,” Omuriwe recounted of the set in which everything can be said to have fallen off the wheels as everyone, especially setter Smith Okumu and libero Emmanuel Elanyu, was exposed.
From weak serves to poor reception and porous blocks, Uganda almost served a lesson on how not to play.
“What we needed was to slow down the pass and be patient on the block.”
Calm before another storm
Uganda slowed down the game and utilised its passes to wrestle back the second set and take the lead in the third but another lesson came as the umpires called one net offence after another.
“That (controversial officiating) came from the blind side, we were asking ourselves what was going on. But we need to stay calm regardless of the environment we are in,” Omuriwe said.
“The game is fast, we need to get to a point where we have to use video umpires. That will help keep players sane because each point counts. Even after watching a replay, we are convinced there was no netting. Those four calls and four points lost yet the players are working hard.”
The Volleyball Cranes were more calm and collected against Egypt – even in the face of some controversial calls – perhaps was a lesson learnt but the serve was still not as consistent.