MASERU — Lesotho volleyball champions Redskins have put themselves on the map by winning their first international tournament since their formation nearly two decades ago.
The team dominated the Free State Open Tournament held in Bloemfontein on Saturday to win both the men’s and women’s categories.
The Redskins women’s team defeated Fudu, a Bloemfontein-based club, 2-0 while the men’s side beat 67 Years by the same margin in the finals.
On their way to the final, the Redskins men crushed a hapless South African Police Service (SAPS) side 2-0 and also defeated the Central University of Technology 2-1.
The women’s side meanwhile overcame both 67 Years and SAPS 2-0 to reach the final.
Four of the club’s players won individual accolades at the tournament.
In the women’s category, Tsepang Thafeng was voted the best spiker with her team-mate Liepollo Kuenene getting the best setter medal.
In the men’s category, Phetheho Ntlamelle was chosen as the tournament’s best blocker while Letuka Shelile was awarded best attacker medal.
Redskins had taken part in many international games but with little success.
Redskins coach Tsepo Raletoane said they were delighted by the success.
“Yes, we emerged number one for the first time in international competitions,” Raletoane said.
“Previously we had managed to finish second or third, so we are really thrilled about winning an international tournament for the first time.”
Raletoane said he was impressed with the “excellent” manner in which the Redskins sides had won the tournament.
“The purpose of entering this tournament was to weigh how strong both teams are as well as to prepare ourselves for the national league which is about to start,” he said.
“We are trying to build a strong team that can compete and win both locally and outside the country without any problems.”
Redskins’ male team has been national champions for eight consecutive years since the 2002/2003 season.
The team was established in 1991.