Junior volleyball under-23 team steps up preparations, coach Mabwi happy

By ronnie evans
Oct 05, 2016
  • The Kenya national volleyball u-23 players pose for a photo before their friendly match against Kenya Pipeline on Wednesday at Kasarani Indoor Arena.

The national women's U-23 team has stepped up its preparations ahead of the Confederation of African Volleyball women’s under-23 championships which starts in two weeks.

The last few weeks has seen the team hit top gear with a series of friendly matches at Kasarani, which is also the competition venue, with wins against top sides Kenya Commercial Bank and Nairobi Water.

They have also played defending champions Kenya Pipeline twice in a bid to harden the players for the competition. The latest of which was a 3-0 straight sets loss (25-14, 25-18, 25-22) on Wednesday morning.

Coach Catherine Mabwi said the friendlies have been vital in strengthening her charges' both physically and mentally.

"We have played senior teams of Kenya Prisons and Kenya Pipeline. There is an improvement in the team as we are scoring upto 23 points and even taking sets from them. Moreover, we have been able to minimise mistakes.This is good for us as coaches because we are able to see what needs to be worked on," Mabwi explained.

So far, eight teams have confirmed participation.They are Senegal, Tunisia, Botswana, Egypt, Rwanda along with hosts Kenya.

The competition which starts on October 19, also doubles up as a qualifier for the U-23 World Championships set for Slovenia in 2017.

According to Mabwi, the current crop of 16 players are competent. Only Kenya Prison's Lilian Leilei has been dropped as Mabwi looks to have her final squad of 14 players.

"Preparations are going on well. There are still two more players who I am required to release but I will not pin down a timeline as to when I will do so. We hope that the girls will be ready by the time we reach the championships,” Mabwi concluded.