Senegal win gives Kenya momentum to face Rwanda

By ronnie evans
Oct 25, 2016
  • National team left attacker Yvonne Wavinya with the ball during their match against Senegal on Tuesday Safaricom Indoor Arena. (Photo by Ronnie Evans)

  • Ann Lowem and evergreen Yvonne Wavinya took turns in tormenting Senegal. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Doreen Marani was outstanding against Senegal. Kenya play Rwanda in the next match. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Kenya bounced back from the loss to Egypt with a resounding 3-0 (25-17, 25-7, 25-8) straight sets victory over Senegal in their 2016 women's U-23 Africa Nations championship played at Safaricom Indoor Arena on Tuesday.

Towering Yvonne Sinaida was the only change in Kenya's starting line up as height was lacking when it came to blocking against Egypt. She made an immediate impact as she combined well with setter Veronica Kilabat for Kenya's 11-9 lead.

Senegal coach Diallo Faye called for a timeout but it did little to change the momentum of the game. Sinaida put her towering frame to good use as she provided crucial blocks en route to Kenya's 20-13 lead.

Diana Chepkorom put in the final block as Kenya took the set 25-17 in 25 minutes. Any first set nerves were quickly extinguished as Kenya took an 8-1 lead early in the second set.

Time out, Senegal

Diallo was compelled to call a for a second time out. Kenya led by towering Ann Lowem and evergreen Yvonne Wavinya took turns tearing Senegal apart as the team led 16-2 and 20-5 respectively.

Left attacker Doreen Marani put the set to bed with a lovely forehand spike for a massive 25-6 score.

Senegal led by Seck Mbayang matched Kenya in the opening minutes of the third set with scores at 5-3.

That is a close as the visitors got as Lowem and Wavinya picked them apart stretching the lead to 18-6. Kenya put in a ruthless shift to take the final set 25-8.

Kenya coach Catherine Mabwi was pleased with the result and termed the final match against Rwanda as crucial.

"I am happy with the girls.They played well today. We lost against Egypt so we had to come back strongly. We had quick attacks for this game and that paid off. We had studied Senegal and realised they are not good at service so we capitalised on that."

"It is important that we get the win against Rwanda. We are going to approach the game in the same manner of quick plays on the offence," Mabwi concluded.

Egypt remain unbeaten

In the first match played, Egypt got their second win by beating Rwanda 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-21). Egypt coach Ahmed Mohammed named an unchanged starting line up from the team that beat Kenya on Monday.

The Egyptians dominated the opening exchanges with right attacker Nada Meawad and captain Farida Elaskalany again replicating their previous form as Egypt won the first set 25-14.

A rejuvenated Rwanda led the second set 6-3 and 8-3 respectively forcing coach Mohammed to change strategy and utilise two players as blockers every time Rwanda pressed.

Rwanda stretched their lead to 14-10 before continuous effective blocking efforts by Doaa Abdelggany and Aya Ahmed saw Egypt rally back to lead 18-16. The Egyptians were in cruise control and did not look back as they sealed the set 25-17.

The third set saw a spirited fight by the Rwandese as they tied the game at 14 points before briefly leading 15-14 and 19-18 respectively. Clever play by Farida enabled Egypt to regain their lead at 23-20.

Substitute Rahma Elohandes finished matters, her spike earning her team a 25-21 set win.

Egypt coach Mohammed stated that they will be taking the match against Senegal seriously as it will still be vital at the end of the competition. He does not intend to change his winning team.

Results day three

Egypt 3 Rwanda 0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-21), Kenya 3 Senegal 0 (25-17, 25-7, 25-8)

Fixtures (Wednesday): Botswana v Rwanda (2 p.m.) Egypt v Senegal (4 p.m.)