NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25 – Kenya must beat Rwanda in her last match on Thursday to secure ticket to next year’s World U23 Women’s Volleyball Championship to be staged in Slovenia.
The home team recovered from Monday’s Egypt loss to condemn Senegal to their second defeat of the tournament following a 3-0 (35-17,25-7,25-8) result in the third match played at Kasarani indoor Arena.
The win, which was strengthened by Egypt triumph over Rwanda in the other match of the day, brought Kenya back into contention for the two slots available to the worlds.
Egypt, who registered a second consecutive win thanks to a straight set (25-14,25-17,25-21) win over Rwanda, is the favourite to finish top of the five nation championship played in a round robin format.
Egypt are top of the table on six points from three matches same as Kenya who has played a match more.
Kenyan trio of Yvonne Wavinya with four spikes, Ann Lowem’s two blocks and Veronica Kikabat were voted the best spiker, blocker and server respectively.
Kenya started the match on a low note, allowing Senegal to take an early lead into the first technical time out (8-7) but Catherine Mabwi side crept back into the game when they opened four point lead into the first technical time out.
They never looked back and despite Senegal cutting their lead to within two points (16-18), Kenya cheered on by a relatively small but passionate crowd snatched the opening set 25-17 to open a set advantage.
Senegal proved no match to Kenya in the second set and they were punished from their mistake as the junior Malkia Strikers stretched the lead and gain psychological advantage over the west Africa with a commanding 8-1 lead into the first breather.
Dorine Marani and Veronica Tanui scored two aces in the second set which propelled home girls to a 16-2 lead into the second technical timeout. Clearly, Senegal had ran out of ideas at this point and could not keep up with bombardment from Kenya’s attack which saw them register the meanest set of the tournament so far courtesy of a 25-7 triumph.
Kenya desperately needed straight sets win and this was emphasized in the last set which, just as the second set -they took the lead from the whistle before cruising to (8-4,10-5,16-5) lead only to chalk the game (25-) from a killer spike from Marani.
Botswana who won their match against Senegal will be back in action Wednesday against Rwanda with Egypt taking on Senegal as Kenya take a rest.
-By Elvince Joshua-