Madibaz aim to lift silverware at tough volleyball tournament

By Coetzee Gouws    24-May-2024 14:49 UTC+02:00

The Madibaz men’s team will be keen to make an impact when they compete in the Madibaz Volleyball tournament to be played at Nelson Mandela University’s South Campus in Gqeberha on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Supplied

The Mandela University men’s team are looking to go one better than last year when they compete at home in the second annual Madibaz volleyball tournament in Gqeberha this weekend.

Coach Bakier Jalill said the Madibaz, who finished runners-up to Fort Hare in the inaugural event, wound up their preparations on Wednesday and were as ready as they could be for a serious tilt at the title on Saturday and Sunday.

“We know that it will be tough, but we have set ourselves the goal of trying to win,” he said.

“Many of the players have been in the team for the last three years and they have developed nicely and know each other well, so we are focused on putting in a good performance.”

Among their opponents who will be in contention for the title will be teams such as Gelvandale, Falcons and Rhodes University.

Jalill saw the event as the perfect opportunity to gauge where they were form-wise heading into the important USSA tournament in the first week of July.

With a string of top sides entered in the draw, Madibaz volleyball manager Bernard Petersen expected it to be a tough run to the playoffs but was hopeful that they could lift the silverware come Sunday afternoon.

The tournament was set up last year by the club to provide an opportunity for its student-athletes to compete against different opposition.

“It proved to be a great success,” Petersen said.

He was pleased to host it for the second year running as it contributed to the growth of the sport in the Eastern Cape. It has attracted a field of 20 teams ranging from primary schools to senior clubs.

The sport is continuing to grow at Mandela University and has even spilled over to the beach volleyball discipline.

The students are the current Nelson Mandela Bay League champions and, as they are presently occupying second spot on the 2024 log, in the running to emerge as the metro’s top team again.

Besides the NMB League, the Madibaz compete in the Mayoral Cup and USSA Eastern Cape League.

Following the USSAs in Polokwane, they will take aim at the SA Champions Cup in August and September and the USSA beach volleyball competition in Durban in December.

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