With the National Volleyball League first round getting closer to the end, the table has started to take shape. Teams are slowly moving into places they were projected to occupy before the start of the season.
Sport-S and OBB are the teams that were projected to set the pace due to their strength and quality in numbers.
Only one, however, has so far lived up to that hype and it is Sport-S, who defeated KCCA in straight sets Saturday afternoon to register a seventh straight win and remain top of the log with maximum points.
Seven games played, 21 points collected and no dropped set. That is the kind of form the Nsambya outfit are in and they remain front runners for this year’s title.
Saturday’s clash was as straight forward as they come and KCCA only put up a fight in the third set when their backs were against the wall.
The Kasasiro Boys even led 24-22 but failed to close it out, allowing the table leaders back into it to take the set 26-24 and take all three points.
Even without players like Johnson Rukundo, Sport-S offense is still fierce. Augustine Odongo did most of the damage on the outside while Samuel Engwau and Emmanuel Okia took charge of the middle in the first two sets.
Dickens Otim came off the bench in the third set and showed his experience with his efficient net defence to deny KCCA.
“We have to stay focussed and not get carried away,” Otim told Daily Monitor after the game.
“We want to finish the first round strong and wait for the second,” he added.
The National Club Championship winners have already eased past their strongest challengers OBB and Nemostars.
Defending champions OBB have struggled to impress this season despite their big-name signings.
Saturday’s 3-2 loss to UCU Doves is the team’s third and leaves more questions than answers for head coach Luke Eittit and his charges.
It was a good start by the Iganga outfit when Elijah Apunyo paced his serve to trouble the Doves’ reception and OBB led 5-1 early on in the first set. UCU recovered well with Gideon Angiro powering through the block to hand the university side momentum. They took the first set 25-21.
OBB were much better in the two sets that followed and defended well to stop UCU. Apunyo’s hard serve continued to cause problems of UCU and the first pass was severally fumbled to bother the offence.
Eittit’s charges took the second set 25-19 and the third 25-22 to lead 2-1 and edge closer to victory.
UCU were no done, though and led 3-0 with Coach-player Elias Isiagi in the service box. OBB responded with five unanswered points to lead 5-3 but it was UCU that finished strong, Angiro tearing through the block to make it 24-22 and then dumping for the set to force a decisive.
OBB were a no-show in the decisive set and trailed 8-5 at the switch of sides. UCU introduced Mark Omara in the middle and his net defence worked to limit OBB’s middle plays.
The Mukono outfit led 14-6 as OBB laboured to compete and finally fell 15-10 to lose their third of the season.
The team continues to miss the services of Ivan Ongom and new signings Jonathan Tumukunde and Brian Atuhaire both struggled to impress.
National Volleyball League
Men: UCU Doves 3-2 OBB (25-22, 19-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-10)
Men: Sport-S 3-0 KCCA (25-19, 25-15, 26-24)
Women: Soprt-S 3-0 Espoir (25-7, 25-17, 25-23)
M -Ndejje 3 – 1 Tigers (25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 25-20)