NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7- National women volleyball team Malkia Strikers have been pooled alongside North African rivals Tunisia for the African Women’s Volleyball Championships cum World Championship qualifiers which serve off on Saturday evening in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The nine-time African champions will headline Pool B which will have five teams and they will also square it out against DR Congo and Nigeria. They start their campaign against the Nigerians on Saturday at 6pm Kenyan time.
Kenya who won the Zone Five Championship in Nairobi in August has won the last three championships and will be out to assert her authority against the rising African nations.
Main rivals Egypt will be in Pool A alongside hosts Cameroon in a Pool of death that has Algeria as well as rising stars Botswana.
The top two teams of the first round qualify to the semifinal, while the third and fourth ranked team play for the 5 to 8 positions. The two finalists will assure themselves a slot in next year’s FIVB World Championships to be staged in Japan.
Kenya’s last participation in the World Championships was in 2010 in Japan where they failed to make it off the group stages, losing all their five games.
Jane Wacu, Evelyne Makuto, Janet Wanja, Mercy Moim and Brackcedes Agala were all part of that Kenyan team and the five have also made it into the squad for the qualifiers for next year’s showpiece.
Head coach Japheth Munala named an experienced squad for the tie and included Kenya Prison’s right attacker Immaculate Chemutai who will be making her debut in the national team.
Malkia Strikers squad
Setters: Jane Wacu and Janet Wanja
Right attackers: Violet Makuto and Immaculate Chemutai
Left attackers: Mercy Moim, Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya and Evelyne Makuto
Middle: Triza Atuka, Brackcidise Agala and Edith Wisa
Libero: Aggripina Kundu