On Sunday, Armee Patriotique Rwandaise volleyball club emerged champions of both the men and women’s category in the NSSF KAVC international volleyball championship.
The men beat KAVC 3-2 while the ladies stunned a charged KCCA women in a decisive set to clench fists on their first trophy in the memorial championship at the Lugogo indoor arena.
Men’s scores (final)
23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 12-15
Women’s scores (final)
19-25, 25-27, 25-20, 26-24, 14-16
Seven-time champions KAVC pulled off an epic comeback against Apr in the men’s final from one set down to put up a powerful resistance but we’re unlucky in the decisive set.
The competition was inaugurated in 1996 as an initiative to recognize the founders of the Kampala Amateur Volleyball Club, that came into existence in 1970.
After two years of no action because of the pandemic, the 24th edition of this tournament was dedicated to the late Neko Muduse Ojala “old coach” who succumbed to covid19 in June last year, 2021.
The cup Vice Chairperson and KAVC team manager Olive Ekallam says she remembers the late Muduse as a disciplinarian and hard-working gentleman who lived by his principles.
Olive said; “old coach was one of the founders and a very special father to kavc. He imparted in us one of the most important things in life and that is discipline. He always told us discipline will take us heights and this we have maintained in KAVC. Our teams have remained disciplined because of what the late coach Ojala taught us while he was still alive.”
As a hard-working man, the late Muduse Ojala was also instrumental in the upbringing of giant club Nemostars VC, after parting ways with Kampala Amateur Volleyball Club in 2005.
“He also taught us how to work hard to achieve both on and off the court. I will always remember two things about “old coach”. discipline and hard work. We shall keep that with us as kavc in the family of the volleyball fraternity.” She said.
Prior to his demise, he had been recognized by Uganda Sports Press Association with the USPA Lifetime Achievers’ Award (2021) for his contribution to Uganda Sport and Volleyball in particular. In 2015, UVF as well appreciated his work with a Lifetime Achievers’ Award.
Rwandan Coach Elly Mutabazi described the late old – guard as a strong and kind fellow who contributed alot to the volleyball family.
“He was a very strong coach. I saw him many times because we have been participating in this tournament and he was a very kind person. He contributed alot to the volleyball family so it is an honor to remember him.” Mutabazi said.
On the final day of the 3-day tourney, Former Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi was the guest of honor, flanked by NSSF’s Deputy Managing Director Patrick Ayota to grace the climax exhibition.
Before the final, on Friday the two sides clashed in the group stages where KAVC beat APR 3 straight to leave the stage as group leaders while the latter came second.
APR Coach explained the group stage lose as a result of fatigue and a long journey they had travelled to Kampala, though it appeared like a tactical move to lose and get pitted against KCCA in the quarter finals.
“It is very special for us, as even the women also won. It is a pleasure for us and we are living the moment. The first day was not easy for us, we traveled for 24 hours and we needed to rest for like a day but we didn’t get that. We tried our best and managed the first games though we lost to KAVC in the groups but we knew by the time we enter the quarter-finals everyone would be okay.” Elly Mutabazi said.
KAVC claimed the first service of the day delivered by Martin Kagema but it yielded no fruits as it got countered by Samuel Niyogisumzo to secure APR’s first point of the game. Samuel later gave it away in the next seconds to level scores again.
APR’s Yves utilised his weapon in the service to fuel his side into an early lead as kavc kept trailing. But with inconsistent point openers, the kavc’s attempts crumbled.
Twelve minutes into the game, KAVC called their first time out in a gamble to tame their opponents who were in pursuit to head back home as victors.
APR went on to lose a point and a service after horseman Yves was booked with a red card for a confrontation with the first referee Arnold.
A pair of Daudi and Allan at the front erected solid blocks to square points at 19 up and reignite the chase though they fell off at two points to game down.
Both sides traded point for point until KAVC forced a time out after a three points lead by the visitors only to come back fresh and reclaim the lead at 11-10.
APR looked the better side in both sets even with frustration from kavc’s Allan who kept his side up and alive throughout the encounter.
A tripple block by experienced setter Amon Ainebyona, Sudan’s Daniel Muluki and Nespal Angiro on APR’s power Samuel was used right to level the set scores at 1-1.
The hosts rod on a faulty APR defence and an inconsistent Yves in the service to maintain a two point lead though APR center player Muvara Ronald kept closing in with every opportunity that came to his disposal.
A well dug service by Angiro passed to setter Martin and a kill by youngster Allan proved how the Kampala borns were bound to lift the nssf KAVC international championship trophy for the 8th time as they owned the third set to force a 2 – 1 in the set scores.
A five points lead in the fourth set for APR brought back a ray of hope in their camp with a 2 – 2 set score after KAVC detoriated in maximizing their court cover, forcing a decisive set.
Visibly the two sides exchanged turns in the lead all through, but another red card on Gisubizo Merci of Apr once again levelled matters to keep the clash alive.
A botched attempt on the pipe by Nespal was used against KAVC to hand APR their third men’s title in the 2022 NSSF KAVC international volleyball championship.
The Rwandan outfits (men and women) strolled back home with a hefty ush 10 million in cash prize (5 million each), as the hosts KAVC and KCCA ladies settled for ush 3 million each, having finished first runners-up in their categories.
Second runners up
Men – REG (ush 2 million)
Women – KAVC (ush 2 million)
Gold – under 12 girls – Sunrise p/s
under 12 boys – Samaritan p/s
under 14 girls – Sunrise p/s
under 14 boys – Samaritan p/s
Silver – under 12 girls – Samaritan p/s
under 12 boys – Namugongo view p/s
under 14 girls – Samaritan p/s
under 14 boys – Namugongo view p/s
MVP women – Benita
MVP men – Daudi Okello