Hosts Cameroon dethrone Kenya

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Oct 15, 2017

Cameroon stunned Kenya with a straight sets victory to clinch their maiden African Women’s Volleyball Championship title in front of the home crowd in Yaoundé.

The host nation claimed an impressive 25-22, 25-19, 29-27 win to deny Kenya a fourth consecutive continental crown at the Multipurpose Sports Complex in Yaounde.

Kenya were the favorites to secure a 10th title and had not dropped a set going into the final.

Nana Tchoudjang led the home team scorers with 14 points, while Violet Makuto led the Africa Zone Five champions with 12 points.

Kenya started the match the better of the two sides before Cameroon gradually grew in confidence. After a few nervy moments, they sealed the first set to edge ahead and then dominated the second to move to within one set of a superb triumph.

Cameroon took their opportunity at the first time of asking, battling through a tense final set to ensure they finished the tournament at the summit.

The opening set was competitive with the two teams exchanging leads before the hosts went into the first TTO top on 8-6.

After the break, Malkia Strikers came back strong to take a 16-15 lead at the second technical time-out.

Spirited effort by Cameroon

Kenya seemed to have gotten into the rhythm of dominating the set but a spirited effort from Cameroon saw them take up a lead of 19-15 before Kenya tied up the scores to 21-21 thanks to some good show from Evelyn Makuto and skipper Mercy Moim.

Despite a time out call by the Kenya’s technical bench, with the hosts leading 23-22, Cameroon didn’t look back on bagging the set as they scored the remaining points in less than three minutes to win 25-22.

The Cameroonians kept the same tempo in the second set, taking an early lead of 6-2.

With Kenya struggling and the home team dominating in front of a cheering crowd, Kenya coach Japheth Munala made his first change by bringing in Triza Atuka.

The move paid off, as Kenya managed to bounce back to cut the lead of the hosts to only three (8-5) at the first TTO.

The lead seemed to have given them a lot of confidence taking a lead of 16-11 at second TTO. They went on to clinch the set 25-19.

Cameroon seemed to be steam rolling the Kenyans in the third set after going toe to toe in the first and second TTO.

A determined Kenyan side pushed to close the gap but there was no stopping the home team as they held their nerves to win 29-27.

Both teams had already qualified for the next year’s World Championships in Japan after coming through their respective semi-finals on Friday.

"Getting here has not been very easy," coach Munala said following the defeat. "The girls have earned it and looking at the squad, I believe that they are ready to make that next step.

"It has been seven years since we were at the world championship and since then a lot has changed."

Egypt earned the bronze medal after they beat Senegal 25-20, 25-19, 25-23.