Citizens' men break Wolves jinx

Harare City men’s (Citizens) volleyball team finally ended University of Zimbabwe Wolves’ hegemony after they romped to a 3-2 win in a scintillating Harare Volleyball Association men’s final on Sunday.

The Citizens had not beaten UZ Wolves in any competition either home or away since its establishment in 2016. Their last engagement prior to weekend’s HVA tourney was in Durban at the African Zone 6 Senior Club Championship where Wolves once extended their dominance knocking out Harare City in the quarter-finals.

But on Sunday, in a blood and thunder affair made interesting by the fact that the Citizens paraded their new signings ex-UZ Wolves players in setter Tazviona Zvirawa, power hitters Keith Machakaire, Isaac Chokera and Terrence Chapingidza. It was however, Charles Nyamasve, a utility player who seemed to settle in his new side quickly as he dominated Citizens’ raids in the Wolves tundra with a combination of on point serves, good returning skills as well as power and precision above the canvas.
UZ Wolves took the first set 25-18 but Harare City fought back to claim the second one 25-19. As was with the first and second, it was UZ Wolves who again went on the offensive getting the third set which went all the way to the wire 27-25 before the Citizens again dug deep to win the fourth set 25-23 and forcing the game into the decisive fifth set.
Buoyed by the melodious voices of the UZ lady students and the roaring voices of the college male counterparts, it looked a Wolves victory was in the offing but the small band of the Lady Citizens players, their technical staff, officials and a few neutrals amplified their voices loud enough for their players to be motivated.
The whole court was drowned in deafening calls of “Let’s go UZ” and while they would take a breathing break the other camp would shout “Let’s go City.” 
Mt Pleasant Member of Parliament Samuel Banda and Happymore Gotora, Avondale Ward 7 councillor also turned up for the two-day tournament and watched the final.  
By the scruff of their neck, Citizens overpowered the Wolves in their backyard to claim a historic maiden victory over their fancied opponents who are preparing for next month’s continental championships in Egypt.
“It’s really good to win, a win is always nice but I think we still have a lot of work to do. We need to play as a team but somewhere somehow our defence still needs a lot of work to be done,” an ecstatic Citizens coach Itsanang Abu Basutu told the Daily News after the match.
“It was always going to be very difficult because we had to build from there so I think by winning this boys are beginning to have confidence now. It’s a newly-assembled team so a good start for the young boys.”
UZ Wolves assistant coach Memory Dube while conceding defeat was happy with the fact the final lived to its billing.
“Well the boys played very well, it’s unfortunate that we lost the game but the boys gave in their all we tried to gel up the team with our young new players with our experienced ones but I think generally it was a tough match, it was bound to be a tough match and it was a tough match as you can see it went until the last whistle it wasn’t really something they took just like that,” Dube said.
“Definitely a bitter pill to swallow (losing to arch-rivals Harare City) but you know what we take every game as it comes I mean it’s only a season opener so all we do is we go back to the drawing board we continue doing what we have been doing…the rest of the season last year we would override them so it’s up to us to get our rhythm in tandem again.”
Dube refused to shoulder the blame on match officiating which threatened to spoil the smooth-flow of the match at some stages of the game. “Match officials don’t play a game, teams play games so if you are a team, you are smart enough you play your game, you win your game or you lose your game,” she said.
A total of 10-men teams took part in the HVA tourney while five ladies team also battled for onus in a round robin format. UZ Wolves won the match on a 100 percent winning record in which they also accounted for Lady Citizens 2-0.
The Harare City ladies finished the tournament in second position while Manyame Airforce Falcons took third place.

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.