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Gauteng edge KZN for title

Defending champions, KwaZulu-Natal’s loss to Gauteng in a five-set encounter in the final round robin match in the hotly contested men’s group of the 2010 Inter-Provincial Volleyball Tournament held at Wits University set the stage for a Gauteng victory when the two teams met in the final.

Gauteng edged out their arch rivals three sets to one (25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 27-25).

With KZN taking a well deserved 11-7 lead in the opening set, their fans expected them to wrap up proceedings through Nathan Ernest and Brazilian Victor Moralis who were in sizzling form. However, when setter of the tournament, Gershon Rorich played the quick combination sets in the middle, the results were devastating. There were celebrations all round when Rorich’s men went on to grab a morale boosting 25-22 win.

The second set belonged to the defending champions who stopped Gauteng’s march to victory with 25-17 score line. KZN’s two-metres tall middle blocker Ben Govender was a tower of strength at the net, taking out his opponents with relative ease.

When Gauteng’s dual attacking maestros,Tawnada Mafuva and Bekhi Mamehe were joined in attack by the quick hitting Panashe Chiguta it forced coach Jayson Govender’s men on to the back foot. Getting caught napping in position one by the occasional soft hits there further exacerbated the situation for KZN.
With the scores locked at 22-22 the Gauteng big hitters put the set beyond the reach of the defending champions with a hard fought 25-22 win to take a 2-1 lead in a best of five sets final.

Despite  raucous support for the home side KZN kept the score board ticking and set their sights to win the fourth set and level the scores at 2:-2 and take their chances in the deciding fifth set.

A Gauteng revival through Mafuva and Mamahe set the court alight. With Gauteng getting back into contention at 25-25 the pressure shifted onto the KZN lads. With a 26-25 lead a nervous service delivery by Gauteng’s Tawanda Mafuva caught the KZN team by surprise when it clipped the net and fell sharply into the attack zone.

Gauteng wrestled the championship silverware away from KZN with a 27-25  fourth set victory.

OTHER RESULTS
Youth Girls: Limpopo bt KZN (3-1) (25-21, 16-25, 25-22, 25-16)
Junior Women: Gauteng bt KZN (3-0) (25-17, 25-18, 26-24)
Senior Women: Gauteng bt Limpopo (3-0) (25-13, 25-15 25-11)

Youth Boys: KZN bt Gauteng (3-0) (25-17, 26-24, 25-12)
Junior Men: KZN bt Gauteng (3-0) (25-22, 25-14 25-23)
Masters: KZN bt Gauteng (3-2) (25-18 18-25 23-25 25-19 15-12)


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