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Thompson stars for SA

Our young volleyballers celebrated a great win against Algeria at the 2010 Boys African Nations Championship at the Western Cape Sports School in Cape Town on Thursday, their first win of the tournament.

They beat Algeria, the 2008 African Nations bronze medallists 3-1 (23-25 25-19 25-14 25-13) for a fabulous victory. In the day’s other match Tunisia beat Egypt 3-1 (25-23 25-22 25-23).

In the South African victory prolific outside hitter, Miles Thompson made his intentions quite clear from the outset that he was going to be the player that the Algerians were to watch out for. As soon as the high jumping Thompson fired the first salvo it raised his team’s hopes of victory.

With skipper Dean Layters and the quick hitting Carlo Van Nelson combining well in a supporting role the South Africans set the stage for a first set win.

When Algerian playmaker, Raouf Maouche struck form with a series of well disguised sets that unleashed his attack force it forced the SA lads onto the back foot.

But even at this stage the South Africans were not in any danger of losing the set despite a renewed challenge from the visitors. Much to surprise of the local fans the SA team’s sudden loss in concentration cost them the opening set. With the scores at 23-23 it was the Algerian outfit that took their chances and grabbed a 25-23 win.

This time round coach Loet Groenewald  marched alongside the court shouting out instructions . It was apparent that the coach was not going to allow any complacency among his players. With full support from the Cape fans the SA lads turned their fortunes around and posted a 25-19 win to level the scores at 1:1

In a short space of time in the third set Thompson, Layters, Van Nelson and middle blocker Robin Wessels who was a tower of strength at the net, thrashed the North Africans, recording their best set score at that point with a 25-14 margin.

With a 2-1 lead the South Africans raced on to put the match beyond the reach of their opponents. There was no turning back for Groenewald’s young warriors as his attackers proved to be too strong for the Algerian defence at the net.

Thompson rose majestically to meet Carlo van Nelson’s quick reverse set to position 2, and the former unleashed his venom on the North Africans with sheer brute force that stunned the visitors. His crushing blow sealed the set for the SA team with a 25-13 score line.

The highly motivated South Africans will now meet Egypt in their final encounter on Saturday while on Friday evening the Egyptians play their penultimate match against Morocco.