GRASSHOPPERS pulled off a close match from U-Mi Yet in a grand final replay of the NCD Volleyball Association men’s premier division at the Taurama Leisure Centre on Saturday.
The match was forced into a tie-breaker; 20-25, 25-19, 25-21, 17-25 and 15-12 – a revenge for their grand final defeat last year to U-Mi Yet.
Hoppers’ aggressive jump service by Jeffery Gima and Moses Arier saw the duo apply pressure to U-Mi Yet’s reception throughout the match, ending up being service aces, or free balls that the green machines converted into kills in transition play.
The duo had good support by John Lausi, Randolph Nambate and Oliver Bume, who stepped up their performance in both attack and defence and got their desired results.
The premiers had Leo Maino, Charlie Gabina, Veki Hani, Francis Mage, Charles Maino, James Maino and setter Gavin Heni, who fought back to win the second and forth sets, but could not contain the Hoppers’ onslaught in the decider.
In the other men’s premier games, Patriots missed a perfect opportunity to wrap the match in the fifth set over Vailima, committing unforced errors in the fifth and final set, while Post-Courier were stretched to the limit by former champions, Scorpions, however held a tight grip to win in the tie breaker.
With the Snipers, although not at their best, they somehow managed to escape from the wrath of the Moukele Dolphins in the decider.
On the women’s court, Grasshoppers made up for their shock defeat to Patriots when they stopped pre-season champions, Pom Tech three sets to one.
U-Mi Yet nailed Patriots in straight sets while the Scorpions hammered Snipers 3-1 and Ulamagi cruised home three sets to one over Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).