NAIROBI, September 10 – The national junior women’s volleyball team lost 3-1 to defending champions Egypt in a tough Africa Junior Volleyball Championships encounter played at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on Tuesday.
Egypt won 3-1 (25-19), (27-29), (25-22), (25-20) as the tourney entered its second day.
The hosts lacked concentration in the first set and allowed Egypt’s Dina Mustafi, Mena Allaha and Esraa Tarek to dominate.
Kenya came back strongly in the second set matching the Egyptians blow for blow tying the scores at 12-12 at the first technical timeout. A pep talk by head coach, Paul Bitok then inspired his players to race to a 29-27 victory as Evelyne Makuto and Jacinta Machefo dominated the proceedings with improved service.
The win brought jubilant fans to their feet Kenyan fans ran into frenzy as the team put more pressure on the visitors.
The visitors were more focused in the third and fourth sets playing more tactical game that caused the hosts to make blunders with poor reception, service and touching of the net.
The under 18 head coach, Paul Bitok, said that his side lost the game to opponents who were well prepared for the tournament and had experience.
“Egypt has a strong team with experience unlike ours which constitutes players from schools. They have three great players, (Esraa and Nahla) from Al Ahly and (Dina) from Zamalek Clubs”, he said.
On the other hand, the visitors’ head coach, Hesham Badrawy hailed his team superb performance against Kenya.
“Kenya has been our major rival but I am proud of this team good result. We have come here to defend the title and this was our most difficult hurdle than,” he noted.
Kenya’s team captain Evelyn Makuto however remains optimistic that the team will come out strongly when they face Tunisia and Senegal.
“With motivation and focus, the players must win the remaining games in order to win this championship. Egypt played professionally so the errors we made today will not be repeated”, she said.
Kenya started their continental campaign on a high note dismissing Seychelles with a 3-0 win of (25-20), (25-15), (25-23) on Monday,
Earlier on Tuesday, Seychelles were 3-0 victors over a strong and determined Senegalese side that was well technically focused on the match.
Kenya will play Tunisia and Senegal in the remaining games that conclude on 14th September.