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Volley ladies progress to next round

Namibia Ladies (fltr): Rosi Hennes, Simone von Wietersheim, Stephanie Palmhert nad Kim Seebach

Three Countries took part in the sub-zonal Olympic Qualifier of the Continental Cup last weekend. Teams from Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia played at the DTS Beach Volleyball Arena in Olympia over 3 days in a country vs country competition. The fourth country, Zambia, had to withdraw due to logistical problems. Officials from Uganda, Algeria and Lesotho were supervising the competition.
Powerhouse Angola, no 2 on the African Continent, showed their skill by beating both Namibia and Zimbabwe moving top of the group in both genders. In the men’s competition it was a hard fight for second place between Namibia and Zimbabwe. Namibia’s no 1 team, Tin Hlupic/Brendon de Jager lost both their matches, while the no 2 team, Roman von Ludwiger/Jan Eric Sack, beat Zimbabwe’s no 1 team, Takawira/Sibanda in 2 sets. Zimbabwe’s no 2 team, Choto/Sibangani was then too strong for von Ludwiger/Sack, which resulted in a 3-1 defeat for the Namibian men.

An injury by von Ludwiger made it impossible for Namibia to beat Angola as Namibia had to forfeit 2 matches. Hlupic/de Jager lost both their matches against Angola’s teams, losing out on the qualification for the next round as only the top 2 countries qualify.
In the ladies competition both Namibia and Angola had no problems to overcome Zimbabwe in straight matches to meet in the match for top of the log. Namibia’s no 1 team Simone von Wietersheim/Rosi Hennes took Namibia to the lead by beating Angola’s no 2 team Alburquerque/Cardosa in straight sets.
Angola’s no 1 team, Kunga/Magalhaes showed their exceptional skill and made sure to move 2-1 ahead by beating both Namibias no 1 and no 2 team. It was all up to Namibia’s second team, Juniors Kim Seebach/Stephanie Palmhert to beat Angola’s no 2 team to equalize.
In a thrilling match Angola won the first set and with the support of the local spectators Seebach/Palmert fought back to win the second set. In the third set tie break the Namibian Junior team were quickly running behind and could not manage to keep up with the experienced Angolan team, losing the set 15-8, giving Angola the overall victory.
As runners up Namibia’s ladies have therefore qualified for the next round, which will be held between April and September 2015, and the teams will most probably meet the qualified teams from the other sub zonal group, South Africa and Mozambique.
“The competition went very well, except for the rain that disturbed play on Saturday”, said Heiko Kesselmann, Director of Beach Volleyball in Namibia and local organizer of this competition. “Next year we have to continue to train hard in order to survive the next group phase,” added James Verrinder, Namibia’s National Coach.

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