Local teams win big on the court

TONGAAT volleyball teams Liberte and KAD Beasts successfully defended their titles at the 2018 Garuda Capital eThekwini Volleyball National Masters Tournament in scintillating fashion last weekend.

The fourth edition of the tourney was once again hosted in partnership with UKZN Sport as well as UKZN Volleyball and took place at the university’s Westville Sports Centre.

Both sides went undefeated throughout the competition, which attracted teams from around the country.

In the men’s final, Liberte faced a strong Delfos team in front of a boisterous crowd. It was a ding-dong battle in the opening set with both teams trading points before Liberte closed off with a 25-17 win. The Tongaat side were lethal through the middle with playmaker Kiresh Harrilal laying the platform for his captain Seelan Naidoo to run riot.

Liberte raced to a quick 12-6 lead in the second set before the intervention of Delfos coach Log’s Naicker, who brought on veteran setter Matthew Govender. It was a move that galvanised them, with Govender bringing former national captain Andile Masinga into the game.

He delivered some big blows before Liberte tightened their defence at the net. Harilal then turned to Masinga’s former teammate in the South African setup, Prenalen Govender, along with outside hitter Pramesh Naidoo, whose big attacks helped them to a 25-20 win.

“I think the support we had was magnificent, the crowd really helped us throughout the game — it was really a hair-raising experience,” said Naidoo, who won the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament award.

“For me it’s all about the team, we play as a family and we stay as a family. For me this is a team award, not an individual award,” Naidoo said.

In the women’s final, KAD Beasts beat sister club KAD Beauties in straight sets (25-17, 25-20). Beasts setter Raycine Nana dictated play for her side throughout while middle blocker Sashnee Nair marshaled the team’s defensive effort.

“I am extremely satisfied, the girls put in a lot of hours and today we are reaping the rewards,” Beasts coach Prenesh Nana said. Nana also praised the local organising team for their efforts.

“It was great, it was organised well and we will definitely be back to defend our crown next year,” concluded Nana.