Sport-S ladies beat Ndejje Elites 3-1 in sets to bag the Ndejje Open Volleyball Tournament crown for the first time at the Old Kampala Arena, on Saturday.
The Nsambya-side earlier this month lost a National Club Championship final to OBB ladies in Iganga and there was no better way to announce their presence than in today’s tie.
The Elites failed to defend their title, falling to a teenage-dominated Sport-S that had them surprisingly panting throughout the entire contest.
Ndejje will have to return to the drawing board as league champions, to build depth in the squad after losing four of their starters in the transfer window.
Coach Malik Damulira was initially worried that his inexperienced side would struggle but the victory will have him match chin up into the new season.
UCU Win Men’s Category
In another final, UCU doves won the Ndejje Open tournament for the third time with a fully deserved 3-1 victory over Sport-S in the men’s category at Old Kampala Arena.
The Mukono-based side had their title hopes valid after they presented a much better side to settle in the game faster and win the first two sets which made their intentions clear to the ever-screaming fans.
A half-time talk by the Sport-S coach Warren Muhangi sobered up the Nsambya outfit who retaliated by winning the third set to send UCU into panic from a comfort zone.
The fourth set was a series of mixed reactions from both camps, with Nespal Angiro breaking for a trailing UCU with his monstrous poundings and Sport-S capitalizing on a faulty UCU reception to keep themselves in the lead.
The decisive moment was when UCU came from two points down (20-22) to level the score and put the game to bed with an ace from Nespal Angiro that was misjudged to be wiggling out of play by new signing Emmanuel Okia, sending the Mukono side fans into jubilation.
UCU Captain Odeke Vincent commented that the win against Sport-S was a much-awaited one having lost to them in the group stage of the competition.
“We had a great performance today, Sport-S have been giving us hard time in the different tournaments that we have played them. We were not prepared for them in the group stage and we lost 3-0 but they survived at the Aporu Cup, so we are grateful this final happened and it is a good comeback for us.” Odeke Said.
Sport-S played without left-handed Otim Dickens, and budding attacker Michael Magnon who is away for the FEASSA games but was brilliant in their triumph over OBB in the season opener.
The final however saw the return of skipper Johnson Rukundo into super fly mode after the nasty injury he sustained from their second-round game against KAVC last season.
Sport-S setter Marino Oboke captained his side for the day and in his remarks from the game, he said; “We started the game well but our opponents played with a lot of energy and hunger which needs to be appreciated. This is just an open tournament and it has nothing to say about how our season will be.”
Sport-S resumes league action on October 1st against six-time league champions Nemostars while UCU plays Ndejje Sharks the next day -2nd-.
The two (UCU doves and Sport-S) will clash again on the 16th of October, in their first league encounter on Sunday Afternoon at the Old Kampala Arena.