NAIROBI, Kenya, February 14 – Kenya women’s volleyball head Coach David Lungaho, has retained the 12 that lifted the African Cup of Nations last October in Nairobi to play during the FIVB World Championships Pool U qualifiers starting Sunday at Nairobi’s Safaricom Indoor Arena.
The continental champions are drawn against Uganda, Cape Verde, Senegal, Seychelles, Mozambique and Tunisia in Pool U of the African qualifiers for the women’s FIVB World Championships scheduled for Italy later this year.
Lung’aho’s queens will be seeking to avoid the fate that befell their male counterparts who missed the single slot for the FIVB World Championships set for Poland after finishing second to Egypt in their qualifiers that ended last weekend.
The Kenya Prisons women’s tactician is braced for tough competition and urged his charges not to underrate any team despite being the African champions.
“This competition is going to be tough not only because of Senegal and Tunisia but Uganda will make it difficult too since they have improved over the last two years. Seychelles have been out for a long time but have always been a tough side.
“The level of competition is going to be very high and we are looking upon all the teams to give us opposition since there is no weak team and we must work hard every day,” Lung’aho stated Friday when naming the squad.
Captain Brackcides Agala, affirmed they are ready for the competition after having enough time to train at the venue unlike the past.
“Preparations have been good and we are looking forward to our first match that I’m sure will win.By the end of the championship, we will make our country proud as we have always done since the girl’s morale is high and we are going to do our best.”
Kenya Volleyball Federation vice-chairman, Charles Nyaberi, expressed full confidence with the team that conducted a special month-long training under the technical assistance of Argentina-born coach Raul Lozano, who is in the country to steer the African Queens for the rest of the year.
“Lozano has been attached to our country by the world governing body as the technical director with his prime function of supporting the ladies team especially in view of our new status of promotion to the FIVB grand prix.
“The entire squad is comprised of local based players and as a federation we need to expose them this year in order to be at par with teams that are better than us like Algeria and Egypt. We will make sure we find resources which have been our constraint.”
The week-long qualifiers will see Kenya begin her quest against Uganda on Sunday.
Kenya has not been performing well in the global showpiece with the latest being in 2010 where they were bundled out of the group stage in Japan.
The winner will represent Pool U in the World Championships set for Italy from September 23 to October 12 this year.
Setters: Jane Wacu and Janet Wanja, Right: Esther Wangeci, Violet Makuto, Left: Mercy Moim, Everlyne Makuto, Monicah Biama, Centers Brackcides Agala, Ruth Jepngetich, Diana Khisa, Joan Chelegat, Libero: Elizabeth Nafula.