THE Zimbabwe women beach volleyball team kicked off their Continental Cup 2nd Round Women Group D campaign with a heart-breaking 17-15 golden set defeat against Guinea at the White Sand Beach in Entebbe, Uganda yesterday.
The locals are in Pool D which comprises African champions Egypt, tournament favourites Mozambique and hosts Uganda.
The pair of Media Mafuta and Viola Muchaona lost 21-8 and 21-15 while Progress Gasa and Nyengeterai Guyo restored parity with a 21-7 and 21-15 win to set up a golden set which the locals narrowly lost 17-15.
Head coach Kudzai Sibangani who’s monitoring events from home due to lack of funding blamed the defeat on fatigue as the team only arrived in Uganda at midnight just seven hours before their opening match.
“There’s probably an element of little rest at play then adjustment to the sand and probably lack of prep talk before the match just for the ladies to try and forget a tale of difficulties,” Sibangani told the Daily News yesterday.
“They are used to having the coach around for feedback and controlling some emotions, on that we really let them down. There’s still three more games to play and we will try to focus on those, they tried under the circumstances.”
Despite the defeat Sibangani is still hopeful of making it to the phase of the Olympics Qualifier — the round of eight.
Today, Mafuta and Muchaona square off against hosts Uganda, who gave pre-tournament favourites Mozambique a good run for their money albeit in defeat.