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Layters’ lads down Liberia 3-0
- Updated: March 5, 2010
Day one of volleyball’s African qualification tournament for the Youth Olympics later this year saw South Africa beating Liberia and the DR Congo beating Morocco.
Durban’s University of Technology is hosting the tournament as teams try and qualify for the inaugural Youth Games in Singapore.
The South Africans beat Liberia 3-0 (25-16 25-18 25-13) and Morocco went down 3-0 to the DR Congo.
The South Africans started off┬á while patiently building up a strong lead. Their efforts were rewarded with a 16-11 lead which put them in a commanding position to win the opening set. SA’s star performers, skipper Dean Layters who did not put a foot wrong, explosive attacker, Gerald Chetty and the effervescent middle attacker Colin Wessels combined well to register a 25-16 first set win.
What frustrated the Liberian attack force more was that Colin Wessels and the tall and strongly built Velisa Ntshuntshe seriously limited their chances of putting points on the board with their huge out stretched hand that penetrated their space during the execution of the block.
Whenever local lad, Gerald Chetty powered his way past the blockers the home fans celebrated his achievement with loud cheering. SA went on to register a 25-18 second set win that killed even the smallest spark of resistance from their visitors.
However had the Liberians exploited SA’s glaring weakness in picking up the ‘dinks’ into unguarded areas of the court, the ‘do or die’ third set could have gone their way. Chetty, Layters, Wessels, Ntshuntshe and Thompson closed the set with a┬á 25-17 win.
In the other game, fans were stunned by tournament dark horses RDC who crushed Morocco in straight sets.
Using their powerful jump service to full advantage, DR Congo eased into a 16-9 lead which forced the Moroccans onto the back foot. The occasional resistance from the North Africans, especially from Soufiane Faraji and Soufiane Lamnine did not deter the DRC as they closed proceedings with a sparkling 25-13 first set win.
When the Moroccans took the fight to their high riding opponents, they were rewarded with a few quick points that brought them close to taking the lead for the first time. How ever, Morocco’s chances of upsetting DRC were dashed when playmaker Amine Zayani’s sets gave his attackers little or no chance of passing DRC’s huge blocks. With DRC’s left handed maestro, Tshanga Tshibangu in devastating form, the Moroccans were forced to concede defeat by a 25-21 margin.
With service reception errors rearing its ugly head from time to time in the Moroccan team, Coach Said Montaouakil’s team stared defeat in the face when the Congolese team posted a 19-12 lead. Solid blocking from DRC’s ‘twin-towers’, Mbuli Inginda and Tshanga Tstugangu further frustrated the North Africans who had no option but to roll over and play dead. DRC raced to a commanding 25-14 win in double quick time in the third set.