National women’s volleyball team launch their African Cup of Nations-cum-World Championship campaign against neighbours Uganda this afternoon at the Safaricom Indoor Arena, Kasarani.
Rwanda face another volleyball powerhouse Egypt in the other clash of the day. The Zonal V World Championship qualifier has attracted four nations including fast-improving Rwanda, Africa nemesis Egypt and Uganda in a three-day event.
The top two teams will book an automatic ticket to the Africa Cup of Nations set for October 7-14 in Yaounde, Cameroon which in the end will qualify for the FIVB World Championship next year in Japan.
The side, coached by Japheth Munala, will then cross swords with Rwanda on Saturday before wrapping up the event with a tie against stubborn north Africans on Sunday.
Kenyan start favourites against Uganda, having won against them in previous International championship but team assistant coach Dorcas Ndasaba assured that they will not be complacent and they will not underrate any team. The celebrated former national team player said their goal is to first qualify for the African Cup of Nation and see what happens from there.
“Gone are days when one would underrate teams based on your previous performances. Nowadays teams have really improved and Uganda are one of the teams that are rising very fast. Victory in the opening match is always good as it sets the stage and acts like an inspiration. We are therefore not going to leave anything to chance since we want to win all the matches,” said Ndasaba who doubles up as the Western Bombers assistant coach.
She added: “We are going to give all the three matches the seriousness they deserve. The players are raring to go and we can only hope for the best.”
Leonida Kasaya, who will be making her debut in the senior national team, said stakes are high but she was ready to work in unison with her team-mates to see to ensure they deliver good performance.
“I have watched all these teams play before and they are all good sides. Ours will be to take one match at time and hopefully, the results will come our way,” she said.
Kasaya, Emmaculate Chemutai and Cellestine Nyongesa are the newcomers who were drafted in the 14-member squad.