ZAMBIA kept alive hopes of qualifying to the 2014 World Volleyball Championships after beating Zimbabwe 3-2 in a five set nail-biting Zone Six Group K match played in Lilongwe, Malawi.
The Zambians lost the first set 18-25 before winning the second and third sets 25-19, 25-20 but Zimbabwe levelled the scores in the fourth set, winning 23-25 and it was left to the fifth and final set to decide the winner.
Zambia won the deciding set 15-13 having allowed Zimbabwe to close up the score to 14-13, having trailed by four baskets. Zambia were expected to play Malawi last night to qualify to the next round of qualifiers to be held in Botswana against teams from Zone B.
But while the men are topping the league, having won their opening two matches, it was a different story for the women team who suffered their second successive defeat, tumbling at the hands of Zimbabwe, losing 3-2.
And women’s team head coach Stephen Kasinsa said the women’s performance was disappointing.
According to a statement released by first secretary for press at the Zambian High Commission Chansa Kabwela, Kasinsa said the team had not been together for a long time and some players were featuring at an international level for the first time.
However, the head coach said the women’s team showed marked improvement in Wednesday’s game against Zimbabwe compared to its opening game against Namibia on Tuesday.
“We need to win today’s game against Malawi and we are doing everything possible to qualify to the next round,” Mr Kasinsa said.
Zambia’s High Commissioner-Designate to Malawi Charles Banda and other diplomatic staff were on hand to offer moral support to the Zambian teams.
The four-nation qualifiers for Africa Sub-Zone A feature Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The teams are competing in men and women’s categories and the top three sides will face off with their counterparts in Sub-Zone B.