Zimbabwe Republic Police Support Unit Men’s Volleyball team powered past highly fancied University of Zimbabwe side to clinch its first ever Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) Zone VI Championship. The tournament was recently held at Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo.

The final match in the men’s category was an all Zimbabwe affair and it was expected to be a cracker considering that both teams had not lost a match on their way to the final.

Despite losing one of its star players, Keith Machekaire to injury in their first match, ZRP Support Unit displayed classic volleyball with clinical finishes especially from Charles Nyamasve and Cuthbert Sixpence. ZRP Support Unit won all their group matches to finish top of Pool B with 11 points ahead of University of Johannesburg who were on 8 points. Other teams in Pool B were, Indeni from Zambia, Botswana Defence Forces (BDF) VI and Spartans from Zimbabwe.

In quarter finals, ZRP Support Unit locked horns with determined Green Eagles of Zambia. The match proved to be the toughest one, for the team as it was decided in the last set. After leading comfortably in the first two sets, ZRP Support Unit surrendered the lead in fourth set after Green Eagles made a spectacular comeback forcing the match to be decided in the fifth set. In the end, ZRP Support Unit won the match 3-2 earning a place in the semi-final and a ticket to represent CAVB Zone VI at CAVB Club Championship games to be held in Egypt in February 2018.

The semi-final match against Red Skins of Lesotho was not so tough for the star studded ZRP Support Unit. Quickly, they led two sets winning all of them with a considerable margin. However, things briefly fell apart in set number 3 which was won by Red Skins pushing the match to the fourth set where the team from the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho failed to contain powerful spikes from Mabhinya.

As usual ZRP Support Unit were first to grab the lead in the highly tense final match against youthful University of Zimbabwe side who despite all clinical performances in earlier matches looked jittery. They however pulled a surprise comeback in the third set closing a ten point gap to win the set.

It looked like things were starting to fall apart for ZRP Support Unit but they however came back more determined in the fourth set. With hundreds of volleyball lovers and supporters rallying them from the terraces, Mabhinya took an early lead and maintained it until the end. A powerful spike from their star player Charles Nyamasve earned them the much needed decider 25th point against UZ’s 18 points thereby sealing their victory and sending team managers and supporters into a frenzy.

Speaking to The Outpost soon after winning the coveted title, ZRP Support Unit coach Itsanang Abu Basuthu applauded his team for the outstanding performance.

“It has been a tough assignment but we have been building this team since February. Today we are happy that our rebuilding exercise has paid dividends. We never won this trophy before and the best we achieve at this tournament was a silver medal. However we are already preparing for CAVB Club Championships that will be held in Egypt next year,” said Mr Abu Basuthu.

Two players from the team also got individual awards. Their youthful number 4, Charles Nyamasve was named Best Attacker for the tournament while Trymore Nyakwangwa was named Best Server.

In last year’s edition which was held in Namibia, ZRP Support Unit was booted out in the quarter-finals. The tournament pitted 18 teams in the men’s category and 12 teams from the ladies’ category which came from the hosts Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and Lesotho.

Meanwhile, ZRP Support Unit ladies team participated and bowed out in the quarter finals. They were defeated by BDF VI from Botswana.

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