Kenya down Uganda in African Zone V qualifiers

Kenya on Friday thrashed a youthful Uganda 3-0 sets (25-12, 25-15,25-12) in less than an hour, in the opening match of the women’s African volleyball World Championship qualifier at the Kasarani Indoor arena.

This result implies the hosts will qualify for the Africa Nations Championship in Egypt later this year with one game to spare with a win against Rwanda in the second assignment at the same venue on Saturday.

The top two teams at the Africa Nations Championship will then qualify for the World Championship.

“Nearly everything went on as planned, for an opening game, we coped well with all the dangers they provided. That said I expect tougher competition in our remaining fixtures,” said Kenya coach Japheth Munala.

The Kenya versus Rwanda match starts at 5pm and all supporters will be accorded free entrance to the 5,000 seater venue.

Munala, who is eyeing his first title since taking over last year, approached this fixture with an experienced line-up consisting Violet Makuto, Janet Wanja, Triza Atuka, Noel Murambi, Brackides Agala and Mercy Moim, with Aggripina Kundu occasionally coming on to operate in the libero role.

Moim and Agala picked the first two points to help the hosts cruise to a 8-4 and 16-9 lead at the first and second technical time out respectively. Kenya would eventually see out the opening set with an impressive 13-point advantage.

Among the standout players for Kenya in the proceeding set was Wanja, who recently came out of international retirement.

The veteran Kenya Pipeline setter contributed six points, with most of those coming from her fierce serves that proved to hot for the opponents.

Captain Margaret Namyalo, featuring in the attacking left position for team Uganda, proved one of the real threats for Kenya’s blocking duo of Wanja and later on Edith Wisa with her right handed attacks.

Eventually, though, Kenya again, eased through to claim the second set in just under 20 minutes.

Munala refreshed his squad in the third and final set, bringing on Jane Wacu in place of her close friend Janet Wanja, and Edith Wisa for Brackides Agala. Youngster Emmaculate Chemtai was also given a run out as the overwhelmed Uganda faded off.

Rwanda was slated to face Uganda in the day’s other fixture.

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