Hallmark SRVL exposes gulf in volleyball standards

Michonya vs Neno

The Hallmark Southern Region Volleyball League has now reached the regional level after wrapping up the zone/district level competitions. On Sunday, the yawning gap in standard of play and knowledge of the game among teams was on full display.

Gemz ladies volleyball team were set to host Chikwawa Eagles and Bangula but the latter did not show up. Consequently, hapless Chikwawa were given a volleyball lesson as they were beaten 3-0 (25-11, 25-07, 25-13) by the defending champions.

Gemz Volleyball team
Victorious: Gemz
Chikwawa Eagles
Gemz's opponents Chikwawa. Photos by Chisomo Ngulube

In their games against teams from Chikwawa and Neno, Thunders were too dominant, most of  their strong spikes either landed on players helpless to do anything with the ball or the hits were 'unpickable' and headed straight to the ground.

It appeared the hosts had turned the games into some kind of training match as they kept substituting their players to give everyone a piece of the fun.

It also appeared that some players were not very conversant with some modern position rules, forcing their teams to lose points needlessly. Others touched the net all too often again costing their teams points.

Chikwawa Eagles men (in yellow) played with unnumbered jerseys
Unnumbered jersey: You'll need to zoom in to see the numbers written on by a pental marker

Teams from Chikwawa and Neno had unnumbered uniforms, which is not acceptable in volleyball and were forced to use markers to indicate numbers on their jerseys.

SRVL chairperson Ambilike Mwaungulu opted to look at the positives.

“We are happy the Hallmark sponsorship has exposed teams to news playing environments, the modern games and stiffer competition. We see the teams improving and gaining from this experience," he said.

Below are the results of the rest of the games played in Blantyre:

*Hallmark SRVL 21/05/2023 Poly/Mubas games results*

*Ladies category*

*Chikwawa Eagles 0 vs Gemz 3*
11 - 25
07 - 25
13 - 25

*Men's Category*

*Michonya 3 vs Mwanza 0*
25 - 16
25 - 12
25 - 17

*Chikwawa Eagles 0 vs Thunders 3*
15 - 25
14 - 25
13 - 25

*Thunders 3 vs Neno BW 0*
25 - 11
25 - 16
25 - 14

*Chikwawa Eagles 3 vs Mwanza 0*
25 - 21
27 - 25
25 - 22

*Neno BW 0 vs Michonya 3*
15 - 25
20 - 25
21 - 25