On Saturday afternoon, the KCCA ladies emerged victorious in the women’s Serie A final, defeating Sport-S Ladies 2-0 in the best-of-three series.
They had previously won game one (3-1), on the previous Sunday, thereby ending a 17-year league title drought for the Kasasiro girls.
KCCA advanced to the final by defeating the Ndejje Elites in the semifinals, while Sport-S earned their spot in the final by defeating the National Club Champions OBB in their own semifinal matchup.
To think that Sport-S Ladies have lost the championship after dominating the regular season is surprising, especially considering that only the former champions Ndejje gave them a close competition.
KCCA ladies, however, were not far behind, managing to maintain a strong presence in the top three throughout the regular season. They eventually finished the season as the second-best team with 33 points, just two points behind the Nsambya-based Sport-S outfit.
In an interview, Shilla Omuriwe Buyungo -Head Coach KCCA- shared her thoughts on the recently concluded season and described the experience as a roller coaster of emotions. She said the team went through frustrations, but also beautiful memories that helped them grow as a unit.
“Wow wow…” She started. “…the emotions are all over the place, there have been tears, there have been frustrations there have been beautiful memories that built the season, having fun and good laughs and praying together and encouraging each other. The team has really really grown it just puts a smile on my face when I think about the journey so it’s been a roller coaster of emotions but we choose to to hold on to those precious ones that just bring a smile to our faces on how amazing God has been to us how he has lifted us encouraged us when when the road was rough and bumpy so yeah it’s been an interesting roller coaster of emotions.” Omuriwe noted.
Omuriwe has had an illustrious career coaching mostly men’s clubs, including her most recent coaching stint with KCCA men during the 2021/22 season.
However, this season, she made the personal decision to shift her focus to the women’s side, which has proven to be a successful move as she led KCCA women’s team to a league title after a 17-year wait.
She acknowledges the unique challenges and differences in coaching both men and women but expresses gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow through the experiences.
After suffering a 3-1 loss to the then Serie A champions, Ndejje Elites, in their opening match of the season, the team had to regroup. Seven months later, they faced the Elites again in the semi-finals and were able to give a much stronger performance to advance to the finals.
In a crucial match in week 16, the team secured a resounding 3-0 victory against KCB Nkumba, which boosted their confidence and morale, and positioned them well for the playoffs.
Before the playoffs, KCCA briefly held the top spot in the table before Sport-S reclaimed it. However, Omuriwe was already looking ahead to the playoffs and remained unfazed by the change in ranking. She emphasized the importance of the playoffs and was often quoted saying “Playoffs are a different ball game.”
Fast-forward to the final showdown, the KCCA ladies showed their determination to win by bouncing back from a first-set defeat and taking control of the game to emerge victorious.
Sport-S came out strong in the opening set, clinching a tight 25-23 victory. But KCCA quickly regrouped and unleashed an unstoppable offensive performance in the second and third sets, led by star players Joan Tushemereirwe and Supernatural Mbakisimira.
Though KCCA struggled to maintain their lead, they ultimately prevailed and claimed the third set 25-23, putting them in a commanding position.
Sport-S tried to mount a comeback in the fourth set, but KCCA was simply too strong. They dominated the set and sealed the match with a resounding 3-1 victory, completing the 2-0 sweep of the finals.
Up next for the KCCA ladies would be to prepare for the Africa Championships as League champions, but for now they await a “greenlight” (facilitation for the tournament) from the Club’s administration.
Sport-S, on the other hand, will go back to the drawing board at the home of classic volleyball in Nsambya, to regroup and come back with stronger a opposition in the next season.