Intense competition for slots in the Kenya u23 team

By ronnie evans
Sep 21, 2021

Three players have been dropped from the Kenya women's volleyball under-23 squad that is in non-residential camp at Safaricom Stadium,Kasarani in preparation for the Confederation of African Volleyball women’s under-23 championships to be held in Nairobi on October 18-28.

The trio of Irene Mbula (Kenya Prisons), Milgrin Lutubula (Kenya Commercial Bank) and Praxedes Wekesa have all been dropped on basis of performance as coach Catherine Mabwi looks to have her strongest squad ahead of the competition.

Lilian Kavinya is still a no show and will not be considered for selection.

"The players are positive in camp although there is a lot of competition. We need to work on a few things here and there because training and game situation are different. We are improving on the basic skills of passing, serving, forearm passes, setting, blocking,attacking and floor defence," Mabwi said.

She is set to have a bigger selection headache as she is supposed to trim her squad down from 17 to 12 in the next couple of weeks to determine the players that will make the final cut.

On the flipside, availability of resources and facilities have been a welcome boost according to Mabwi. "I would not say that we have many challenges because we have training kits and equipment so everything is fine," she concluded.

The team shifted camp from a four week training programme at Nyayo Stadium to Kasarani in order to familiarize themselves with the ground as it will also be the competition venue.

Mabwi has urged her charges to step up so as to be ready for the big guns in the shape of Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia all of which will compete for the title.

The tournament doubles up as a qualifier for the 2017 World under-23 Championships to be held in Slovenia. Only the top two teams will qualify for the championships.

Current Squad

Left attackers: Edna Mwombe (Kenya Pipeline), Doreen Marani, Leah Okumu (Strathmore); Middle blockers: Ann Lowem, Shyrine Jepkemboi (Prisons), Synaida Yvonne, Beldine Akinyi (Kenya Pipeline), Pauline Wafula (KCB), Maurine Okiru (Nairobi Water); Liberos: Sarah Were (unattached), Celestine Nyongesa (Kenya Pipeline); Right attackers: Damaris Jepkorom (Nairobi Water), Yvonne Wavinya, Lillian Leilei (Prisons), Maurine Wekesa (Kenyatta University); Setters: Veronica Tanui (Kenya Pipeline), Faith Imodia (SPU).

Dropped: Milgrin Lutubula (KCB), Irene Mbula (Kenya Prisons), Praxedes Wekesa (Bungoma County).