Kenya staring elimination after defeat to Nigeria
Kenya U20 Women’s volleyball team is staring at an early elimination from the ongoing U20 Africa Nations Championship after suffering a shock 3-1 defeat to Nigeria at Kasarani Gymnasium, yesterday.
The youthful Malkia Strikers must now beat Group A leaders Cameroon by healthy set ratio in today’s 4pm crunch tie.
“In every game I believe you can win or lose. But I wasn’t expecting to lose to Nigeria and that means we must correct our mistakes for us to win against Cameroon and survive,” said Kenya coach Paul Gitau.
“We committed a lot of mistakes in attack and service that motivated our opponents. As a coach, I have taken the blame, but that’s not the end of the championships.
“The girls made mistakes but I can’t kill them. I’m happy they have learnt it the hard way.
“Both teams (Cameroon and Kenya) are under pressure, but I believe we are going to win.”
Cameroon beat their West African rivals Nigeria 3-1 (25-17, 20-25,15-25, 20-25) in their first match before thrashing Tanzania by straight sets to set up a thrilling final preliminary round encounter against Kenya.
Record winners Egypt have advanced to the last four after winning all their opening three group B matches. The defending champions hammered both Uganda and Congo DRC by straight sets before overcoming Rwanda 3-1 (25-14, 16-25, 25-16,25-22).
The match started on a high tempo with both teams exchanging the leads in the first set before Kenya opened a two point lead (16-14) at the first Technical Time out before extending the lead 19-15 and 23-17 into the second and third TTOs respectively.
Kenya went on to pocket the first set 25-19 thanks to Miriam Ngweyo’s powerful spike.
However, the Nigerians responded swiftly capitalising on Kenya’s poor reception and service to win the second 26-24 and make the set score 1-1. This was after a series of neck to neck affair.
Just like the first two sets, both teams exchanged leads, but the West Africans showed a very good pace as the game progressed and eventually claimed the set 25-18 after Stacy Otieno’s poor spike.
Kenya came back into the fourth set a more rejuvenated side taking an 8-2 lead into the first and second 16-12 TTOs respectively.
However,poor attack and service cost them dearly as the hard fighting Nigerians rallied from behind to win the set 25-23.
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