NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19- Senior national women’s volleyball team head coach David Lung’aho has backed the junior Malkia Strikers to clinch the sole ticket to the 2017 FIVB World championship in Slovakia.
The side is preparing for the Africa Women’s Under-23 championship which serves off this Sunday at the Kasarani indoor arena.
Lung’aho, also the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) technical director believes the girls have what it takes to beat five other countries that will be battling for the sole ticket to the worlds during the Kasarani championship.
“From technical point of view, the team is in good shape. They just need to believe in themselves. Rwanda is the only big challenger here but I think they will qualify which is the most important thing if they don’t look down on anybody,” said Lungaho after Kenya’s final build up match against league side Kenya Pipeline on Wednesday.
Rwanda is coached by former men’s national team captain Paul Bitok.
Kenya Head coach Catherine Mabwi named a strong squad that will battle with Rwanda, Botswana, Tunisia, Egypt and Senegal for the lone ticket.
Captain Pauline Wafula is expected to lead the team alongside Ann Lowem (Kenya Prisons) Yvonne Sinaida (Kenya Pipeline) and Shyrine Chepkemboi (Kenya Prisons)
The left attack has Yvonne Wavinya, Edna Mwombe, Dorine Marani and Maurine Agwalas while Beldin Akinyi and Damaris Chepkorom will attack from the right.
Setters are Faith Imodia of St. Paul University and Veronica Kilabat while Sarah Were and Celestine Nyongesa will protect the back court.
Strathmore and Kenyatta University duo of Leah Akumu and Esther Nanjala were dropped from the final 14 as they will be writing their end semesters examination hence not available for selection.
Meanwhile Botswana and Senegal are expected to arrive on Thursday morning with Egypt and Tunisia arriving on Saturday morning.
Kenya’s full squad:
Setters: Veronca Kilabat, Faith Imodia
Right: Beldin Akinyi,Damaris Chepkorom
Midle blockers: Ann Lowem, Yvone Synaider, Shyrine Chepkemboi, Pauline Wafula(c)
Left: Yvone Wavinya,Edna Mwombe,Dorine Marani, Maurine Agwalas
Libero: Sarah Were,Celestine Nyongesa.