Volleyball: APR upset REG in five-set thriller

APR volleyball club players celebrate after scoring a point in the third set during Wednesday's 3-2 victory over Rwanda Energy Group (REG) at Amahoro Stadium. Sam Ngendahimana

Former champions APR recorded their second win in the national volleyball league this season after outclassing Rwanda Energy Group (REG) in a five-set thriller (25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 26-28, 15-13) at Amahoro Stadium on Wednesday night.

The two sides looked sluggish at the beginning, with players from both teams making unnecessary errors, but Sammy Mulinge’s APR were quicker to regroup after the second technical timeout as they took a 18-14 lead before eventually winning the first set 25-18.

The second set started close but it did not take long before REG, with their aggressive serving and solid blocking game, took a narrow 11-8 lead, which APR never recovered from as Benon Mugisha’s side drew even at 1-all with a 25-21 second set win.

APR picked themselves up to take the third set 25-19 but the lead was short-lived as Flavien Ndamukunda and Olivier Ntagengwa-inspired REG leveled again with a hard-fought 28-26 fourth set, this time sending the match into the decisive fifth set.

The military side, seven-time champions, showed their grits and guts – powered by the combination of Ronald Muvara and Prince Kanamugire – to capture the decider 15-13.

Prior to their stunning victory over REG, APR had only managed one win in seven league games this season. They are now in sixth position with 7 points, one ahead of bottom side Kirehe.

Hopefuls REG remain second with 20 points, level with leaders UTB. Champions Gisagara complete top three with 19 points.

Speaking to Times Sport in a post-match interview, APR head coach Mulinge was all praise for his players, insisting that, “The victory is proof that APR can win against any team.”