• Wacu remained optimistic of completing for a double against them to bring the trophy back home
• Ramdoo conceded the tactic to change the line up after two sets paid off.
After coming from two sets down to see off champions Cameroon 3-2 in their last Group ‘B’ match on Thursday night during the African Nation Cup in Cairo, Egypt, Malkia Strikers are now keen to reclaim the trophy tomorrow.
But before that, the East Africans will have to go past Senegal today in one of the semi-finals which will be a repeat of 2017 edition while hosts Egypt lay in wait for wounded Central Africans in another semi-final.
National women’s team setter Jane Wacu said the come back was prove that Kenyan players have matured as far as the mental strength of the game is concerned.
Wacu, who plies her trade in Seychelles with club Anse Royale, at the same time tipped Kenya playing against Cameroon again in finals on Sunday and remained optimistic of completing for a double against them to bring the trophy back home.
“After Cameroon took the first two sets, people thought we were done and dusted. However, we regrouped and won the remaining sets and finished top of the pool. Really, that shows how mentally strong we are currently,” noted Wacu, who turns out for champions Kenya Prisons’ locally.
She added: “Despite playing Senegal on Saturday in the semifinal, I’m quite sure we will win and face off with Cameroon in the final. We are keen to complete a double against them and bring the trophy home.”
FIVB coach Shailen Ramdoo, who is attached to the team, had fielded Janet Wanja, Sharon Chepchumba, Mercy Moim, Violet Makuto, Edith Wisa, Brackcides Agala and libero Elizabeth Wanayama to do duty for the country.
However, the line up failed to sparkle, losing the first two sets 18-25 and 16-25 before he rang changes to the line-up.
Ramdoo then rested Agala for Triza Atuka, Moim and Chumba for Leonida Kasaya and Noel Murambi, Makuto for Emmaculate Chemtai and Wanyama for Aggripina Kundu. The Italian coach, however, kept on switching setters between Wanja and Wacu and at some point moved Makuto in the centre position.
This time, his trick worked as they settled for the third set 27-25 and went on to tie the game with a 29-27 win in the third set. The Kenyans went on to capitalise on the situation to seal the fifth set 15-12 to finish the pool with eight points unbeaten.
In an interview, Ramdoo conceded the tactic to change the line up after two sets paid off. “We started off slowly losing the first two sets and Cameroon thought they had it. But when we brought in key players, the game changed and we went ahead to win the game which is a good thing. I’m happy with players performance and let’s see what happens in the semifinals,” said Ramdoo.