The 2019 National Volleyball League took place in Gauteng at the Kempton Park Sport Centre over four weekends from 15 June to 7 July. Last year’s NVL in Durban was the first installment of the event and only included the provincial men’s teams and 2-a-side beach volleyball for selected provinces for men and women. This year four women’s teams were included to join the party.

The opening ceremony on Sunday 15 June included dignitaries from co-hosts Volleyball South Africa (VSA) and the National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.

With professional referees, a top-class centre-court set-up and all the bells and whistles of a well-organised volleyball event, the players had all they needed to focus their energy on playing to the best of their ability. Spectators in the stands were treated to thrilling volleyball action accentuated by the familiar voice of MC Rendani Tshivhula, who did an excellent job of keeping the crowd informed and entertained. For those who could not attend the event in Kempton Park, VSA live-streamed the full matches on Facebook with running scores, opening the competition up to spectators from all over the world.

After four weekends of intense competition, the finals were played on Sunday 7 July. The women from KZN’s Kingdom Rhinos beat the Free State Giants 3:0 to claim the 3rd place. The Gauteng Thunderbolts triumphed over the Mapungubwe Warriors from Limpopo in the men’s bronze medal match. The women’s final was a tightly contested five-setter between the Western Cranes and Gauteng Thunderbolts. Although the Cranes had won this encounter in the round-robin stages, the team from Gauteng got their revenge and claimed the final victory. Last year’s tournament winners, the Western Cranes men’s team did their best to defend their title, but the Kingdom Rhinos proved too strong and earned this years gold in straight sets.

Full results on the VSA website:
Indoor women: http://www.volleyballsouthafrica.co.za/calendar/nvl-2019-women/
Indoor men: http://www.volleyballsouthafrica.co.za/calendar/nvl-2019-men/

The beach volleyball section of the NVL took place at the Dries Niemand Amphitheater across the road from the indoor venue. The six represented provinces played a round-robin over three weekends. The competition culminated in a clash between the Western Cranes and the Gauteng Thunderbolts in both the men’s and the women’s finals. While the Gauteng men represented by Nathi Ntumbu and Lunga Vilakazi dominated their match to take gold in straight sets, it was the Cranes pairing of Bejancke Della and Christin Delcarme that claimed the women’s title. KZN’s men and women took home bronze.

Read more about the beach finals on the VSA website: http://www.volleyballsouthafrica.co.za/2019/07/08/nvl-beach-volleyball-finals-6-july-2019/

Final results indoor men:

  1. Kingdom Rhinos
  2. Western Cranes
  3. Gauteng Thunderbolts
  4. Mapungubwe Warriors
  5. Eastern Cape Eagles
  6. Mpumalanga Buffalos
  7. Free State Giants
  8. North-West Dynamites
  9. Northern Cape Kudus

Men’s special awards:
MVP – Quwin Naidoo
Best Setter – Quwin Naidoo
Best Attacker – Clinton Stemmet
Best Server – Ethan May
Best Blocker – Loushan Gungaraj
Best Defensive – Eshalin Chettiar

Final results indoor women:

  1. Gauteng Thunderbolts
  2. Western Cranes
  3. Kingdom Rhinos
  4. Free State Giants

Women’s special awards:
MVP – Anna Phago
Best Server – Anna Phago
Best Setter – Tshidi Dlamini
Best Attacker – Randy De Monk
Best Blocker – Yasmin Razak
Best Defensive – Keshnee Moodley