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UWC and Saints make it an all-Cape semi-final clash in Durban
- Updated: September 26, 2014
Thursday’s action saw the battle lines drawn on day three of the Champions Cup for the country’s top eight men’s volleyball teams in Westville, KwaZulu-Natal.
It was the crucial quarter-final stage of the national showpiece as teams fought for a place in Friday’s semi-finals, reports Donovan Nair.
Defending champions, the University of Western Cape (UWC) hardly broke a sweat in the first two sets of their quarter final encounter against Cigma from Pretoria as the former posted a quick fire 25-14 25-12 scores to take a commanding lead.
A spirited fight back from the Pretoria team was short lived as the Capetonians stepped up a gear and wrapped the third set up with a 25-20 score line.
Local fans held their heads in exasperation as Liberte bowed out of the competition by going down to Gauteng’s University of Johannesburg in straight sets (25-19 25-18 26-24).
Losing the first two sets put a dampener on the fighting spirit of the Tongaat lads. Despite efforts to turn their fortunes around Liberte did not succeed in toppling the high riding student team. UJ’s determination to win the encounter paid off when they were quick to capitalise on Liberte’s unforced errors to close proceedings with a heart stopping 26-24 margin and won in straight sets.
DUT’s strength in attack, especially by their skipper and power house master blaster, Jamine Naidoo, had VW, the Eastern Cape outfit against the ropes and they handed out a 25-11 thrashing.
Realising that they were not in any danger of losing the match, DUT eased the pressure on VW and experimented with a variety of attacking options.
While DUT won the second set by a 25-20 margin the Durban lads knew that VW were going to throw caution to the wind in the ‘do or die’ third set and attempt a total onslaught strategy to gain the upper hand.
It was the experience of the DUT team that carried them through with a hard fought 25-23 win to book their place in Friday’s semi-final stage.
In an all Cape Town quarterfinal between All Star Saints and Atlantis Eagles, it was the latter that shocked their more fancied opponents when they took the opening set with a commanding 25-14 win.
The closely contested derby was eventually won by All Star Saints as they went on to win the next three sets 25-21 25-17 25-20.
In Friday’s first semi-final match UWC will square up against fellow Capetonians, All Star Saints at 4pm while UJ and DUT meet in the second match at 5pm.