The National, Tuesday October 8th, 2013
THE Freeway Hoks have nailed a hat-trick of Fairfax men’s volleyball premierships.
The team from Hohola Three had to fight-back from two sets down to eventually beat Uni 3-2 in a thrilling premier grade grand final at Murray Barracks, in Port Moresby, on Saturday.
In the women’s division, reigning champs Telikom, with leading spiker Leontine Ono in great form, denied long-time rivals Raukele to comfortably win the premier grade title 3-1.
Ono, a year 11 student at the Hohola Youth Development centre, was again in superb form to back up her silver medal winning beach volleyball performance at the recent Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna.
For the men, coach Clive Bonga said his charges had to dig deep after staring down the barrel of a certain loss with Uni enjoying the perfect start.
“The change-up in our attack with Damien (Robson) being used as a dummy for the shorter Miller (Gayer) proved to destabilise Uni’s offence and basically took them out of the game,” Bonga said.
From the third set, Uni slackened off their early dominance to allow Robson, Hoggi Lelesi, Gayer, Kati Apini and setter John Soi to dictate terms.
The champions were given a sniff and they never looked back to win their third consecutive premiership by overhauling the opposition by winning the next three sets 25-21, 25-20 and 15-10.
Match committee chairman Nuga Dick said Robson picked up the best and fairest award, while Mark Donaldsera was the best blocker from Uni. Raukele’s Ella Greystone was the best spiker of the season.
In the women’s, Telikom coach Mea Johang again pulled a fast one on his counterpart, Kila Dick.
Johang’s star front-liner in Ono, Alice Naua, Madia Hairai, Mera Kila, seasoned Dorothy Kivung, Ruth Mirou, Kemmy Manoni and setter Maino Kopi were just too good despite giving away the third set.
Johang said he only made a slight adjustment by switching the roles of Kemmy Mamoni, normally a blocker to a hitter, with Mera Kila reverting to her role.
It was Ono’s performance that saw her collecting the best spiker of the season and best and fairest award for the grand final that made the difference. In the lower grades, Freeway Hoks 3 beat Telikom 2 (men) and Raukele 3 beat Uni 1 (women) in the A grade, while Patriots 3 beat Uni 2 (men) and Raukele 3 beat Telikom 1 (women) in the Under-21 final.
The women’s individual awards: Thelma Fred (best shooter – Uni), Marie Karo (best and fairest – Raukele) in A grade, Guram Freddy (best spiker – Telikom), Elly Ono (best and fairest – Raukele) in the U21. For the men: Roy Fred (best spiker – Raukele), Junior Kombeng (best and fairest – Patriots) in the Under 21.