Heartbreak for UZ Wolves

HARARE - Zimbabwe champions University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Wolves faltered on the last hurdle after going down 3-1 against Botswana’s Defence Force VI in the final of the Confederation of African Volleyball Zone VI Senior Club Championship men’s final on Friday.

The Wolves started on the back foot losing the first set 25-17. But just like they did in Thursday’s  semi-final clash against Autorodadi Tributaria, they claimed the second set 25-20.

With the hope of a comeback from behind being fully backed by the Zimbabwean clubs contingent of Harare City (men and women), UZ SheWolves, and men’s teams Naba and Support Unit, the Wolves switched off in the third set losing 25-12.

They agonisingly lost the fourth set 25-23 much to the disappointment of the local residents in Durban, who had also thronged the University of KwaZulu Natal Westville Campus in support of their team.

Wolves assistant coach Memory Dube was visibly heartbroken but applauded the team for putting on a brave fight.

“I think it is a disappointing end but I think the boys really tried their best, it didn’t really come out as we expected at the end but they put up a good show; it was too late of course but they really put up a good fight,” Dube told the Daily News.

“It’s a bit disappointing but at the end of the day there has to be a winner, what we have to do is keep on working.”

There was, however, joy for Zimbabwe albeit in Eswatini colours after local-born gaffer Thulani Maphosa guided Correctional Sunrise to a gold medal after edging Universidade Pedagogica Nampula of Mozambique 3-2 in the women’s final.

“I’m happy to have led the team to a podium finish, it was our first time to qualify for the semis, first time to be in a final and another first winning gold,” Maphosa said.

Women’s defending champions going into the tournament, Harare City, crashed out in the quarter-final stage so did the Citizens men and SheWolves while ex-holders in the men’s category Support Unit and Naba were knocked out in the preliminary stage.

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