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Spartans clinches volleyball championship

By Richard Manubah
Cllr. Moifee Kanneh heads Volleyball in Liberia.
Cllr. Moifee Kanneh heads Volleyball in Liberia.

(mylbsonline.com/Liberia/Nov.14/2013) Mighty Barrolle, who had stamped a longstanding dominance over Liberian Volleyball, have been dethroned by Spartans, now the game’s new Champions.

The action unfolded on Sunday night, November 10, 2013 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Complex Multi-Purpose Indoor Gymnasium in Paynesville.
Neither side enjoyed a large part of the display as the two 2013 finalists (Spartans and Giants) put up classical performances.

Inspired by their Captain, Ambrose Batu Wureh, Spartans downed the Giants 3 sets to 2, but they both were tied on two victories apiece, pushing the Championship decider to the 5th round, during which Spartans collected the vital victory by a 4-point margin (15-11).

“The Volleyball Grand Finale was played in an empty gym, with only a handful turned out at the 4-thousand capacity facility, despite publicity carried out by the Volleyball Federation’s leadership,” the Volleyball Federation President, Cllr. Moifee Kanneh told mylbsonline.com.

Spartans sent early warning signs to Giants that they were out for the ‘kill’ by winning the 1st round 26-24.

The team, now crowned Liberian Volleyball Champions, and their fellow finalists, Giants, did not leave fans wondering how they cruised through to the final, because their competitiveness was fascinating.

Captain Wureh said: “This was a tough one. Yes indeed, Dr. Richard Tolbert mentioned that the Giants really gave us a run for our money. But successes must be earned not too easily, so kudos to the Giants, however, we are happy that we emerged Champions.”

Batu picked up a slight hamstring injury in the 3rd round, but the scare of that injury was feeble.

Having received some first aid treatments from teammates and staff, the motivating Spartans’ marksman bounced back onto the Court, apparently still unfit for the match and however managed to keep up good level of performance.

Ambrose noted: “The lack of doctors here today should not only be a concern to our federation’s heads, but to us the teams. I got injured here today and not the officials of the Volleyball federation.”

“My team did not have medics and that was troubling. We all need to look in that direction to secure athletes’ future in Liberia,” he appealed.

There was no official from the Youth and Sports Ministry to grace the final, though the Volleyball leadership insists: “An official invitation was addressed to the Ministry through its Deputy Minister for Sports, Dionysius Sebwe, a retired international footballer.

“I myself addressed the communication to Deputy Minister Sebwe. So, we expected one of them to have been here today, because it is the final of a National League.” Cllr. Kanneh also told our reporter.

He further said; “Besides, the final game today was played right where the Ministry is headquartered      (the SKD Sports Complex) and they granted us access to the facility. That’s one better reminder for them.”

While the action was unfolding, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister for Administration, Jacqueline Capehart walked into the gym and it appeared that she was in to make official representation on behalf of the Ministry.

However, after few minutes of conversation with the LVF President, he informed our reporter that the official had only come for a completely different purpose; to see what was happening at the gym.

The trophy presentation would have been done by officials of the Volleyball Federation had IE’s  recent past President , Dr. Tolbert, not made a surprise turnout at the final.

The former IE President was quickly given a role and he carried out the presentation of trophies and medals to the Champions (Spartans) and the runners-up (Giants), as well as to referees and team officials.

Dr. Tolbert said in a brief interview: “I love the sport; I like the classical display from the two teams; they will now see me as often as possible, because I have a great interest in the Volleyball game.

The trophies and medals were donated to the Federation by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), according to LVF President, Cllr. Moifee Kanneh.

He commended the teams for spending their own cash to ensure their teams’ participation in the National League over the past 5 months.

In his words: “Volleyball’s allotment in the National Budget is very inadequate. The situation is causing us to undergo strenuous circumstances in keeping the sporting torch burning.”

The two finalists did not receive any money in recognition of their respective achievements. The Federation’s leadership says they would have the opportunity to represent Liberia at continental and other international competitions.

Cllr. Kanneh is meanwhile appealing to the Youth and Sports Ministry to increase the Volleyball Federation’s allotment to stimulate the game’s development in Liberia.

The Federation currently received US$3,000 for an entire fiscal year operation.

 


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