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Volleyball - 07. September 2007.

2007 Women’s African Nations Championship: second victory for the organizers, Cameroon and Egypt start the victory rhythm

The big favorites for the title defeated Uganda while the big contenders for the crown Egypt achieved their first victory in their first match over Senegal as they were in a rest in the opening day. Cameroon survived after losing in the opening to clinch their first victory over Botswana and the same for South Africa who improved a lot to defeat Rwanda.

It is well known that the competition will be qualifying for the prestigious FIVB event, the 2007 World Cup in Japan next November.

The matches were attended by Control Committee President Mr. Tom Omongole, who expressed his gratitude to Kenya for the good organization after the last minute withdrawal of Kenya Volleyball, CAVB Technical Director Mrs. Howyda Mondy, Kenya volleyball Federation President Mr. Waithaka Kioni, Kenya vice president Joseph Tanui and CC members Mr. Jacob Owiti and Mr. Salamba.

The biggest favorite for the crown Kenya become the first team to achieve a second victory as they clinched a straight sets victory (25-20, 25-12, 25-7) over the enthusiastic Ugandan team in Pool A. Kenya raised their win- loss ratio to 2-0, while Uganda became 0-1. The Kenyan head coach changed many positions from the line up playing the first match but they could control the match through the key players specially the strong attacker Docoras Ndasaba and the emerging center blocker Diana Khisa. Uganda played well in block and defense to decrease the point deficit gradually till Kenya won the set 25-20. The Kenyan coach pushed again the main setter Janet Wanja instead of Judith Serenge and increased the attacking power by Edna Rotich and Mercy Moim so they won the set easier 25-12. The Ugandan team lost the motivations in the third set, while the Kenyan coach used more of the bench players where the youngsters Asha Makuto and Brackcides Agala who did well enough to make a wide victory in the third set 25-7.

Kenya head coach, Sammy Kirongo used all his players in the list in order to obscure some of his paper and he was happy to see them all performing well before the more critical match in the competition. "I have to give all the players the opportunity to play in the first round because this will add to their experience and also it helps to continuously change the tactics so that in the critical matches the opponents can’t now all our papers. Also we have to relief the outstanding players for the next critical matches." Kirongo said. He added that he is happy with the performance of Makuto, Agala and the team captain Docoras Ndasaba.

Uganda head coach Tonny Lakony was convinced with the performance in the first set as his team fought well against a more experienced team, but he was not happy with losing the moral in the third set to lose with this wide range of points. "We played a great team today and of course we can’t apply our strategy against them." Lakony added.

Cameroon rebounded from one set behind to clinch a 3-1 victory (21-25, 25-6, 25-17, 25-22) over the emerging Botswana team in pool A. Cameroon improved their win- loss ratio to 1-1, while Botswana dropped to 0-2. Cameroon started the match using the experienced player Ruth Diboue and Rebecca Nkot so they led 8-6 and 16-13 in the technical time outs. Suddenly Botswana came to the match and succeeded to draw for the first time 16-16. The setter Kelebogile Mahupela led Botswana by her combinations to continue their successful attacks while Cameroon team fell into many reception and digging mistakes to allow Botswana to win the set 25-21. Cameroon appeared with a completely different performance in the second set and dominated the net actions completely to win the set easily 25-6. Cameroon players took the matter seriously in the third and fourth sets and although Botswana played well through their center Dipolelo Nkele they succeeded to be the dominating side to win the two successive sets and win the match 3-1.

The favorite Egyptian team fought for 68 minutes to clinch their competition first victory 3-1 (25-22, 30-28, 27-29, 25-21) over the surprising Senegal team who got the sympathy of the spectators due to their fighting all through the match. Egypt becomes 1-0 in win- loss ratio, while Senegal dropped to 0-2. From the start of the match Senegal players proved that they are not an easy opponent so they stayed near Egypt and used their promising star Niane Diouck and the other wing spiker Bineta Ndiaye to penetrate the weak Egyptian block. Egypt came on time in the last points to win the set 25-22. The second set showed the best performance for the West African country that missed three set points and thus Egypt used the experienced stars specially the center Ingy El Shamy and the left attacker Sherihan Sameh to win the Marathon 30-28. Egypt regained the rhythm through the opposite Nada Nassef and the wing spiker Noran El Maghawry who were aided by the combinations of the setter Eman Tharwat to lead 16-7. Again Senegal players played their utmost as Niane Diouck led her team with her unstoppable spikes so Senegal came from 11 points behind to draw 23-23 but this time they won the set 29-27. Senegal players became highly motivated so they fought in the fourth set till they had the draw 7-7. the setter Aminata Gueye did a good job in Senegal team to stay in competition but Egypt came on time and used the fast attacks through the center Ingy to end the set 25- 21 and the match 3-1.

Egypt head coach Hesham Badrawy expressed that he didn’t play with all his prominent players like Hagar Badr and Dina Assal to save them for the coming matches. "I think Senegal team played their best against us specially their wing spiker Niane who was the match star. We changed the position of some key players like Ingy and Nada so they need some time to accommodate.

Senegal head coach was cheered with his team’s performance and with his superstar and the match scorer (32 points) Niane. "We played a big team today and I’m happy to find my players to the level of the match as they played their best. We need just more experience from the continuous participation and I’m sure that we will improve.

Cameroon Head coach Joseph Nane said that his team started the match as winners and they didn’t respect the opponent so they lost the first set, but when the players feels the responsibility after losing the first set they returned back to their performance and succeeded to end the situation to their side. "I think we will show our quality on the proper time of this competition, but I want to mention that Botswana is very promising if they regularly participate in the continental competitions." He added.

Botswana Head coach Carlos Osta Fellove mentioned that the lack of experience didn’t allow the players to maintain their performance after winning the first set because Cameroon players are more experienced with that situation. "I think my team captain Dipolelo Nkele was the match star." He concluded.

South Africa set their first victory over Rwanda 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-14) in 58 minutes in the competition Pool B. South Africa raised to 1-1, while Rwanda dropped to 0-2 in two matches for both. South Africa players appeared in better performance than their first match against Tunisia and succeeded to control the net actions through the centers Driver Cathryn and Sandra Lyons. They had also a good backline defense and so they succeeded to build up the attacks properly. From the first set the winners show good fast attacks through the efficient attacker Palesa Sekhonyana who was the match scorer with 23 points and so they ended the set 25-19. From the second set the South African team became faster in attacks and Palesa aided by Patricia Moloantoa used well the combinations made by the setter Raycine Sunker to win the set easier 25-17. Although Rwanda led many times in the third set through strong attacks of the wing spiker Emilienne Uwineza, South Africa regained the rhythm quickly to win the set with a wider point deficit 25-14.

South Africa head coach, Abdel Hamid El Wassimy was glad with the victory and the improvements in all skills with his new look team. "I’m happy with the performance after we added 6 new players following the competition of All Africa games. We applied today the strategy of fast attacks to avoid the centre block of Rwanda Nadine Iyumva and we succeeded to use the wing spikers to get many points." Wassimy Said. "I hope to improve before the Olympic Qualifications next January when this group of players gain enough experience.

Rwanda head coach, Antoine Sebalinda referred the defeat to the bad reception and backline defense. "We will work on developing the defense and reception in future because I think the other skills are considerable."

Day three Programme
Pool A
Algeria vs. Botswana
Cameroon vs. Uganda

Pool B
Tunisia vs. Rwanda
South Africa vs. Egypt


Photos credited to FIVB.org.

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