It was great to see the South African u20 volleyball teams participate at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) games in December.

The South African men’s team earned silver (team list below)

South Africa (3)-(1) Namibia
South Africa (1)-(3) Botswana
South Africa (3)-(0) Lesotho

SA mens u20.jpg

Captain of the women’s team, Reyanka Kisten, tells us more about the team’s experience in Botswana:

AUSC Region 5 Youth Games – Gaborone 2018

South Africa participated in the 8th edition of the AUSC Region 5 u20 Games in Gaborone from the 7-16 December 2018. This competition had the following countries participating namely, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.  Team South Africa entered 220 athletes in total from 9 different codes of sport (athletics, basketball, boxing, football, judo, netball, swimming, tennis and volleyball).

Team South Africa assembled in Johannesburg where each player was given full team attire including bags for the trip to Botswana. Upon arrival in Botswana we were given accommodation within the University of Botswana. To start off the tournament an opening ceremony was held where all the participating countries attended with all their athletes. This was a great experience as we walked around the University of Botswana stadium, filled with supporters. Our South African flag flew high in front of team South Africa.

We got to Botswana a few days before the start of the tournament. Both the volleyball male and female teams used this time for training. We were escorted to all our indoor training sessions which were held about 15 minutes away from the University. We trained for an hour each indoors and outdoors almost every day. This training helped us to prepare for the tournaments as we had not trained together as a team prior to the tournament.

The volleyball female category consisted of five teams (South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola and Namibia). The tournament was structured in a round robin style with each team playing 4 games each. We were escorted to and from the playing venue which was about 7 minutes away from our accommodation. The playing venue had a single court which had a Tara flex floor. Each game started off with official match protocol and both teams sang their national anthems respectively. Game 1 was played against Mozambique, a tough and skilled team who we lost 3-0 to. Game 2 was against Angola who was on par with our skill level and we managed to beat them 3-2 leaving absolutely everything on the court. In game 3 we versed the hosts, Botswana, who we lost 3-1 to, with very close set scores. Our last game was against Namibia which we managed to win 3-0.  We had our fair share of ups and downs on the court but we showed that we have the potential to play at a great level. This tournament proved that when we pull together as a team we can overcome any obstacles on the court. We have all learnt so much about ourselves as players and about the game through this tournament. Our team would only like to improve the results produced and move forward by getting better.

After our last game against Namibia the last game of the tournament was played between Mozambique and Botswana. This was a deciding game for who takes home gold. In the end Mozambique defeated the hosts 3-0 not dropping a set throughout the tournament. The final log was as follows; 1st Mozambique, 2nd Botswana, 3rd South Africa, 4th Angola and 5th Namibia. There was an awards ceremony that followed and the top three teams stood on the podium to receive their medals. We stood up for the Mozambican national anthem. Receiving a medal on that podium was an absolute honour and a memory I will never forget. Thereafter we mingled with the other teams getting to know them. We exchanged contact details and playing kit.

The tournament was truly an unforgettable experience and one that has changed me as a player. Achieving a bronze 3rd place medal in an international tournament was a huge achievement, considering us being a female team from South Africa. This just shows that the standard of female volleyball might not be at a great level in South Africa but there is so much potential for us to excel in this sport. Female volleyball needs to grow and develop in South Africa because we have the capability to do great things. As a team we have said that this is not the end of what we have achieved but only the beginning.

Reyanka Kisten

Women’s volleyball results:

  1. Mozambique
  2. Botswana
  3. South Africa
  4. Namibia
  5. Lesotho

SA VOLLEYBALL MEN’S TEAM

  • Sandile Ngcobo
  • Sfundo Mpuku
  • Aviwe Bulela Mamfanya
  • Tshenolo Mokobo Revelation Otsweleng
  • Kgothatso Mamabolo
  • Dalane Dube
  • Trevolin Naidoo
  • Opondo Andesa Nonkonyane
  • Sphiwe Mtsweni
  • Tumelo Kambule
  • Marco Renata Cipriano
  • Keveshan Bhagwandin
  • Moorgas Narainasami Govender (Coach)
  • Kelvin Peter Maarman (Assistant Coach)

 

SA VOLLEYBALL WOMEN’S TEAM

  • Nelia Tembe
  • Tatiana Simopoulos
  • Sarah Lyndsay Shabalala
  • Limpopo Geraldine Molife
  • Carla Anne Parsons
  • Mmatswele Mary Magoro
  • Matsela Alice Motsai
  • Vihemba Helena Sihinga
  • Maletsatsi Patricia Monyaki
  • Reyanka Kisten
  • Raesetsa Matlebjane
  • Hannah Osaruese Davidson
  • Huganthiran Coopsamy (Coach)
  • Keitumetse Martha Mokoena (Assistant Coach)