Kenya Junior volleyball team crushed out of the women’s Under-20 African Nations Championship after surrendering a one set lead to fall to Cameroon 3-1(25-20, 25-19, 25-23, 29-27) at the Moi Stadium Indoor Arena, Kasarani yesterday.
Following the win, Cameroon top Pool ‘A’ with Nigeria second, having won their last pool match against Tanzania 3-1 (25-22, 25-16,18-25, 25-15).
Once again, Kenya coach Paul Gitau tinkered with the squad, handing Belinda Nanjala and Mercy Likhayo a starting berth as hosts led 8-3 at the first technical time out of the first set.
Good combination by Immaculate Misiko, Nanjala and Likhayo impressed up-front as Kenya extended lead 14-5 and 16-8 at the second technical time out.
Cameroon then awarded Kenya free points with their poor services as Kenya led 20-10 before Pamela Owino and Nanjala excelled to power to 22-14. However, the Kenyan girls became complacent, allowing the visitors to close gap 20-24. However, that is as far as the west Africans could go as Kenyans sealed the set 25-20.
The Cameroonians then put their act together in the second set with coach Anong Ivan Cla resting Mballa Ekando for Carelle Meganou as Kenyans raced to 8-6 lead at 1st TTO. Owino’s individual efforts did the magic as Kenya extended lead to 12-8 before taking a narrow 16-15 lead at the 2nd TTO.
However, Cameroon tightened the blocks as they raced past Kenyans to lead 20-16, 23-19 before bagging the set 25-19 to level the sets 1-1.
Cameroon then took advantage of the rather unsettled hosts to lead 8-4 and 16-13 at the 1st TTO and 2nd TTO in the third set. Kenyans temporarily took over the lead 19-17 but once again fumbled to allow visitors to take the set 25-23 for a 2-1 set advantage. Kenya then held nerve to lead 8-7 in the fourth set before Cameroon turned the tables to overtake 16-14. Kenyans tried to chase as Cameroon pushed them to the wall scored at will to take the set 29-27
In the earlier matches played at the same venue, Mauritius recorded their second win after defeating Uganda 3-0 (25-13, 25-21,25-10) in their last pool match.
Mauritius had won against Rwanda in their first match of Pool ‘B’.