MVP Moses Mzumara (10) receives the ball. Photo by Tuntufye Chiona Photography
The weekend served up some scintillating volleyball as 10 teams from across Malawi converged in Mzuzu for the annual Raiply National Volleyball Championship.
After the group stage tussles two teams from each of the four five-team men's and women's group winged into the semis.
For women, the semi-finals pitted Moyale Queens against their sisters from MDF headquarters Kamuzu Barracks. After a bloody five set battle, the boots that emerged from the trenches victorious were those of Moyale.
The other semifinal saw defending champions Wolves (formerly Blue Eagles) from Lilongwe take on Katoto Queens. The former used their experience in the tournament to make lightweight of their opponents as they won in three straight sets.
In the final, Wolves produced yet another dominant performance over their hosts Moyale with their receiver Emily Hara providing accurate balls to setter Sara Dale for their spikers Prisca Mankhusu and Melody Moyo to grind the points home. But Moyale showed they would not be walked over as they grabbed at least a set of out of it. The game ended 3-1.
In the men's semis there was another battle of soldiers again it was Moyale that triumphed in straight sets 3-0.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the tournament was the meteoric rise of Mipuniro from Lilongwe who beat giants Lilongwe Spikers in a thrilling five-setter to reach their first ever final.
But in the final they were up against a formidable force in Moyale Barracks. With youthful Moses Mzumara leading the attack from the front, behind and in service, no wonder he was named the Most Valuable Player, Moyale went on to win in straight sets 3-0 and defend the title they have now won three years in a row.
Best Receiver - Emily Hara - Wolves Ladies
Best Spiker - Dona Ng'ambi-Moyale
Best Setter - Sara Dare- Wolves Ladies
Best Blocker - Prisca Mankhusu-Wolves Most Valuable Player (MVP) - Melody Moyo- Wolves Best Server - Christine Mwabutwa-Kamuzu Barracks
Best Receiver - John Hara-Kamuzu Barracks
Best Server- Charles Kwatelera-Moyale Barracks Best Setter- Charles Kwatelera- Moyale Barracks Best Blocker - Grey Musikuwanga- Mipuniro Spikers Best Spiker Men and Most Valuable Player - Moses Mzumara-Moyale Barracks