Ghana Police male team retained their crown while the Nigeria Customs Service female team emerged champions of the Zone 3 Africa Volleyball Club championships held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the University of Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday.
Ghana Police beat Nigeria Customs Service 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-17) in the final of the male category for the second year running to retain the title they won last year.
The result meant the champions went through the entire tournament without dropping a single set, defeating all their opponents by a 3-0 scoreline. Coach Elisha Ayiku said their dominance show that his team are ready for the Africa Club Championships.
Nigeria Customs started the final on a bright note building up a lead in the first few minutes but Ghana police staged a come back to win the first set. Despite the partisan crowd clearly rooting for the Nigerians, Ghana Police dictated the pace of the game in the second and third set to emerge champions.
“I am excited beating Nigeria for the second time on her home soil. If I meet the Nigeria team twenty times, I will beat them twenty times,” Ayiku boasted at the final whistle.
With most of the players in the Ghana Police team dominating the Ghanaian National Volleyball team, Ayiku says the focus for most of his players will be ensuring qualification for the African Games later in the year.
He said: “The next assignment for most of my players is to qualify for the All African Game. We will be back in Nigeria to cement our participation at the games in Morocco.”
Nigeria Police finished in third place after they saw off the Nigeria Immigration male team 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 27-25) in the third-place match.
In the women’s category, Nigeria Customs beat Nigeria Immigration Service 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 28-26).
Reacting to his team’s victory, head coach of the Nigeria Customs Service team Femi Akanni commended the Comptroller-General of the Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) for his support and praised his team for their achievement.
“I want to commend the girls for also playing to instructions against the much experienced Nigeria Immigrations”, he said.
Meanwhile, the President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod thanked the Zone 3 Volleyball executives for allowing Nigeria host the championship for the second straight year.
Nimrod said the hosting championship in the country has contributed to a steady growth of volleyball in the West Africa region.
“Since the return of the Zone 3 championships, the level of competitiveness among clubs in the region has improved drastically. In some years to come West Africa will be a force to reckon with by the grace of God.”