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Malkia stage comeback to stun Cameroon

Malkia Strikers coach Shaileen Ramdoo passes instructions to the players during their African Women’s Championship match against Algeria in Cairo on July 10, 2019.

CAIRO, Egypt, Jul 12 – National women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers staged a comeback to stun Cameroon by three sets to two in their final Group B match at the African Women Volleyball Nations Championship in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday night.

The West Africans had taken a two-set lead and it seemed as though they were heading for a clean sweep of their new rivals, but Malkia exhibited a never say die spirit to squeeze in and win the next two sets to force the game into a tie breaker.

“I am happy we won it was a tough game. We started slow and were not fully in the game but we made some changes and key players changed the game for us. We explored their weaknesses and I am happy we did our part. We can use this momentum as energy for the next game,” head coach Shaileen Ramdoo said.

Setter Jane Wacu added; “The way the game started, it seemed like we were going in for a straight sets loss and that is not Kenya. We have shown that we have the stamina and we earned our respect. We will bring this Cup home.”

With the win, Kenya finishes top of the group and thus avoids home team Egypt in the final, They will now face off with Senegal while Cameroon plays the home side in Saturday’s pair of semis.

Cameroon won the first two sets 25-18 and 25-16 before the Kenyans raced back to contention winning 27-25 and 30-28 before slamming the door on Cameroon’s faces with a 15-10 win in the tie breaker.

Head coach Shaileen Ramdoo fielded an experienced starting seven with Brackcedes Agala and Edith Wisa starting in the middle.

Malkia Strikers players line up before their African Women’s Championship match against Algeria in Cairo on July 10, 2019.

Cameroon were better starters leading 8-6 and 16-13 at the first and second Technical Time Outs (TTOs). They continued the same form in the second set leading 8-2 and 16-7 at each punctuation.

The third set seemed to be heading in similar direction with Cameroon leading 8-3 at the first TTO, but squeezed the game to 16-15 at the second. They took the lead for the first time in the game going 18-16 up before stretching to 20-16, but let the feet off the gas peddles for Cameroon to race back and tie the game at 23-23.

The point for point wave continued until the two sides tied at 25-25 before Malkia hit two quick ones to win the set.

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In the fourth set, Cameroon led 8-6 and 14-16 and the first and second TTOs, looking all set to bounce back from their stumble. But again, Kenya kept their chase and the point for point game raced on before Kenya nicked it to set the game to a tie breaker.

From here, it was clear who the momentum was with and Kenya was not just about to let it go.

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