Mabwi: Loss to Egypt put us in a tough situation, must beat Rwanda

By ronnie evans
Oct 26, 2016
  • Catherine Mabwi has a tricky assignment against Rwanda which is coached by a former Kenya captain and player Paul Bitok. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Kenya will face Rwanda on Thursday in a must win volleyball encounter of the 2016 women's U-23 African Nations Championship to be played at Safaricom Indoor Arena at 4 p.m.

This is after Rwanda comfortably saw off Botswana 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-17) to notch their second win of the competition on Wednesday.

A win of any nature should be enough to ensure Kenya's qualification for the 2017 World Championships to be held in Slovenia.

Kenya coach Catherine Mabwi told Sports News Arena that her team is going for nothing short of the win. "The loss to Egypt put us in a tough situation. We are fully focused on the Rwanda game and we consider it a must win for us. The players' mentality is strong and we going for an all out attack," she explained.

Rwanda coach Paul Bitok said, "It is possible to beat Kenya. I have observed their game and seen that they have a weakness especially in reception. We want to utilise our strong service against them. We will go for good quality service and am confident that we will win."

In the match pitting Rwanda against Botswana, saw both teams evenly matched in the opening five minutes with the scores tied at 5-5. There was presence of in-game jitters with poor service and basic errors in defending being rampant.

Rwanda found their rhythm with arguably their best players Seraphine Mukantambara and Delphine Uwicyeza hitting power spikes for an 8-5 lead forcing coach Isaac Thelengani to call for a timeout.

Rwanda piled on the pressure after the restart for a 14-8 and16-10 lead respectively. Botswana looked depleted and conceded the first set 16-25 in only 20 minutes.

Botswana led 8-7 in the second set after brave blocking and two unforced errors by Uwicyeza. The two sides traded points with Botswana setter Moitmalo Nkobedi assisting right attacker Caroline Rodger to twice tie the game at 10-10 and 11-11.

However they let their foot off the gas as poor game play decisions saw them concede six successive points. Mukantambara drilled the final dagger as Rwanda surged forward and took the second set 25-19.

Rwanda won the third set 25-17.

Egypt picked up their third win as they ran out 3-0 (25-15, 25-6, 25-16) victors over Senegal in a game that saw regular starters Nada Meawad and Aya Ahmed used sporadically.

Results day four

Rwanda 3 Botswana 0 (25-16, 25-19,25-17), Egypt 3 Senegal 0 (25-15, 25-6, 25-16).

Fixtures (Thursday): Botswana v Egypt (2 p.m.) Kenya v Rwanda (4 p.m.).