In November last year, Nemostars VC and Nkumba University Ladies volley ball club retained the male and female Aziz Damani National Volleyball championships respectively. Nkumba swept their opponents in play-offs while Nemostars were made to work hard for the title by a very youthful and determined UCU Doves side, who forced game three. For 2019, the ball seems to still be in the hands of the two sides and dethroning them will be a daunting task for other sides.
UCU Doves were favorites to claim silverware in last year’s playoffs following their stunning display in game two and three. However, having played in such stages before, Nemostars knew when exactly to kill the game. In game three, Nemostars seemed reluctant to block in the first four sets but in set five before bringing out their best in the subsequent sets. The Kololo-based team has also resumed training ahead of the 2019 league and other outings.
Nkumba has the best female players.
Last year, Nkumba University signed new players to the ladies team and these were best players from other university teams. Their old players have also been on top of their game –a reason why most of them feature in the national team. Grace Akiror, Astreede Agaba, Habibaba Namala, Eunice Niwabugaba, Dorenn Akiteng are some of the team’s top guns and if they keep in shape, 2019 will also be their year.
Departure of key UCU Doves players
Some UCU Doves (male team) players will not be around for the entire league and also in the playoffs. This is due to the end of their academic tenure at the Mukono-based institute and their next destination is still anonymous. UCU gave Nemostars a run for their money in the finals of last year’s playoffs. With the university side set to get depleted, Nemostars might have fewer worries this time round.
Sport-S Lack of structures
Unlike Nemostars who have a good administrative structure, the reverse is true for Sport-S at both administrative and technical level hence decline in professionalism. The Nsambya-based outfit is run on a policy that whoever bankrolls the team has a bigger say in the club affairs. This has affected the team’s performance as witnessed in last year’s playoffs.
During last year’s playoffs, Both Ndejje Sharks (M) and Ndejje Elites (W) had a lot of impact less team rotation. In the ¾ position men’s playoffs against Sport-S coach Johnson Kawenyera at one point substituted the entire team after dismal display but still lost in straight sets. The ladies side too had no consistent starters and the dugout seemed to be in a panic. All in all, with other teams facing struggles, Nemostars and Nkumba seem to be getting organized ahead of the new season and will be sides to beat domestically this year.