|The Madibaz women’s volleyball team crowned their year with victory in the Mayoral Cup after a remarkable rear-guard action in Uitenhage at the weekend.
In a match that created a fitting finale to the competition, Madibaz defeated Port Elizabeth College in the tightest of finishes in Sunday’s decider.
With the match deadlocked at 2-2, Madibaz volleyball manager Bernard Petersen said it looked all over for the varsity side when they trailed 14-9 in the fifth and final set.
“At that stage, it looked certain that PEC, who needed only one point, would take the title,” he said.
“Both teams produced some exceptional volleyball, but it was the fighting spirit, teamwork and amazing skillset of the Madibaz ladies which prevailed in the end.”
He said they controlled the closing stages of the match to win the final set 16-14, taking the match 3-2.
While the Madibaz men’s team lost in the semifinals, Petersen said they were generally satisfied with the overall performance.
“The men’s team have the potential to perform a lot better than what they displayed at the Mayoral Cup. Maybe, with more intense training, planning and preparation, we will see a change in the results in the future.”
He added that the team played some fine volleyball before losing 2-1 to eventual champions, PEC, in their opening game. They ended second in their pool and came up against (losing finalists) Volkswagen in the semis, where they went down 2-0.
The Madibaz women won both their pool games 2-0, defeating Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and Volkswagen. They then came up against Despatch and advanced to the final after an injury saw their opponents default the match.
Petersen said the teamwork among the women had been the key to their success.
“Volleyball is a team sport and everyone forms part of a puzzle to ensure the end goal. With this said, however, we must mention our outside hitter, Friederike Hobein, who displayed an excellent level of volleyball.
He said the student from Germany secured the majority of the points over the period of the Mayoral Cup.
“But we played as a team under the captaincy of Rabi Mpuru and our different skillsets ensured overall success.”
Petersen said the tournament wrapped up the Nelson Mandela Bay Volleyball Association programme for the year.
“We have ended the season on a high and positive note. Exams are upon us and students are now able to shift focus and concentrate on being successful academically.”
He said preparations for the Nelson Mandela Bay league would begin in early February, while the teams would also compete in the Eastern Cape varsity leagues.
“These competitions will prepare us for the University Sport South Africa tournament that takes place in mid-year.”