BULAWAYO Metropolitan Province’s women’s volleyball team and Mashonaland Central men’s team were crowned the 2013 National Youth Games volleyball champions in the finals played at Milton High School on Friday.
Mashonaland Central had to overcome a determined Bulawayo side to claim the men’s gold medal beating the hosts by three sets to nil in the finals.
The first set was closely contested, but Mashonaland Central took the advantage and won it 25-22 before going on to put on a strong performance and outplaying the hosts in the second set, winning 25-16.
Bulawayo bounced back to dominate the deciding set leading for the better part, but they failed to finish the game losing three advantage points which could have seen them win the set and force the game into a fourth set, but Mashonaland Central fought back to win the set 28-26 and win the game 3-0.
The hosts settled for silver while Mashonaland East took bronze. Mashonaland Central head coach Stanslous Muguto told Southern Eye Sport that the gold for his province was a huge improvement from previous editions.
“We came to this year’s game missing three of our key players, but I must say I am very happy with the team’s performance. The boys played well and followed instructions.
“We had scrappy play in the decider which allowed Bulawayo to come back into the game, but the boys held their own and we won it,” Muguto said.
Setter Wesley Mafusire, Kudzai Bakaidza and Clive Mkundwi played an instrumental role in Mashonaland Central’s win.
In the women’s final, Bulawayo Province beat Masvingo 3-2 in an entertaining cat-and-mouse match which could have gone either way as the two sides were evenly matched.
It was the hosting side that drew first blood winning the first set 25-23 with Masvingo coming back to win the second set 25-17.
Bulawayo took the third set 25-16 and despite leading Masvingo by 18-10 at some point on the third set, they eventually gave up the lead to lose it 25-20 and force the game to be decided in the fifth round. The hosts won the decider 18-16 in a nail-biting finish to claim thewomen’s gold medal.