Voice of Sport

Thrilling Senegal enter Wednesday semis but nothing short of Gold will do for Kenya

Winners of the championship will earn a place in the International Volleyball Federation [FIVB] World Cup in Japan in September


DARK horses Senegal who have never medalled in the Africa Cup of Nations women’s volleyball championship on Monday won their third match of this year’s event in Nairobi, beating Morocco 3-2 to top Group ‘B’.

Senegal will now play in the semi-finals on Wednesday, against Group ‘A’ runners-up Algeria. Defending and eight-time champions Kenya topped the group and will face Group ‘B’ No.2 team Cameroon in the semis. Kenya met Cameroon in the 2013 Final in Nairobi which the Kenyans won to retain the title gained in 2011 also in Nairobi.

Blown away

Day four of the championship at the Safaricom Arena of the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani decided the semi-finalists.  Shock elimination was that of three-time Africa champions, runners-up twice and Bronze medallists on four occasions  Tunisia who finished third in Group ‘B’. Winners of this championship will earn a place to the International Volleyball Federation [FIVB] World Cup in Japan in September.

Kenya rounded their preliminary stage matches blowing away Botswana 25-19, 25-12, 25-18. David Lung’aho’s side are the only ones in the championship not to have dropped a single set. Algeria earned their semis’ slot by beating Mauritius 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 26-24).

Inaugural

Senegal continued their thrilling come-backs — for the third match in a row — as they again came from two sets down to beat an emerging Morocco team 3-2 (23-25, 22-25, 25-9, 25-18, 15-9) to lead Pool ‘B’. Morocco’s last best performance was in losing the 1987 Final to Tunisia after winning the bronze in the inaugural tournament in 1976.

Monday, June 15:

Pool ‘A’

Kenya 3-0 Botswana 25-19, 25-12, 25-18

Algeria 3-0 Mauritius 25-15, 25-15, 26-24

Kenya continued to look the most talented team in the tournament while brushing off Botswana. Coach David Lung’aho is expecting a tough duel against a tricky Cameroon in the semi-finals on Wednesday and he will be spending Tuesday’s rest day to try and analyse the West Africans’ game.

Last year Kenya lost on home court to Tunisia in the final of a World Championship qualifier and local fans will not be happy until the Malkia Strikers have gone all the way to lift the championship here.

Excellent attacks

Cameroon have excellent attacks and blocks but Lung’aho will try to take advantage of their slow game to win point. “We just need to compose ourselves and receive well; I know most of their players are not fast and we would want to capitalize on that,” said Lung’aho.

Algeria pressed hard to capture their second win over Mauritius 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-18). The Algerian coach Francois Salvagni used most of the substitutes in the third set but he was obligated to return back to his main stars to save the set.

Pool ‘B’:

Senegal 3-2 Morocco 23-25, 22-25, 25-9, 25-18, 15-9

Cameroon 3-2 Tunisia 15-25, 25-18, 28-26, 24-26, 15-13

Senegal who were seeded third in Group ‘B’ considered “pool of death” at the start of championship topped, having won all their three matches in spectacular fashion and identical 3-2 sets.

In all the matches, Senegal pulled a late comeback in the third set to turn around their games which has earned them the title “Queens of comeback”.

Different feeling

“We don’t know why this is so… late comebacks. We always tell ourselves that we should take the lead but that doesn’t happen. Maybe we’ll need to be in front in our semi-final.” Said dependable player Fatou Diouck.

She said she was looking to playing Kenya in the Final. “I love playing here; I love the people and they love our team too. I would really want to have a different feeling playing Kenya in front of their home fans.”

Training

However, Algeria are favourites ahead of the semis and Senegal’s head coach Amadou Sene will need to plan to get another one out of his bag.

Cameroon streaked into the semi-finals, coming from a set down in a dramatic 3-2 (25-15, 18-25, 28-26, 24-26, 15-13) win over Tunisia in their final group ‘B’ match. Cameroon said they had only trained together for one week before the championship and coach Jean Rene Akono was satisfied by her players’ performances in the match.

“I am not expecting much in our next match because we never trained as a team for long,” noted Rene.

Schedule, Wednesday, June 17:

Play offs, 5 to 8:

10:00: Botswana v Morocco

12:00: Tunisia v Mauritius

Semi- finals, 1 to 4:

14:00: Senegal v Algeria

16:00: Kenya v Cameroon

2015 Africa Cup of Nations (women):

RESULTS:

Group ‘A’:

Monday, June 15:

Kenya 3-0 Botswana 25-19, 25-12 and 25-14

Algeria 3-0 Mauritius 25-15, 25-15, 26-24

Earlier:

Kenya 3-0 Algeria 25-20, 25-22, 25-19

Kenya 3-0 Mauritius 25-12, 25-13, 25-17

Botswana 3-1 Mauritius 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15

Algeria 3-1 Botswana 25-17, 17-25, 25-20, 25-15

Group ‘B’:

Monday, June 15:

Senegal 3-2 Morocco 23-25, 22-25, 25-9, 25-18, 15-9

Cameroon 3-2 Tunisia 15lgeeia-25, 25-18, 28-26, 24-26, 15-13

Earlier:

Cameroon 3-0 Morocco 25-17, 25-18, 25-15.

Senegal 3-2 Cameroon 20-25, 25-27, 25-16, 30, 25-16, 25-20, 15-13

Senegal 3-2 Tunisia 14-25, 17-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-12

Tunisia 3-1 Morocco 24-26, 25-17, 25-21, 25-13

Pool Standings

Pool ‘A’:

Rank Team Points Matches sets Points
Won Lost Won Lost Ratio Won Lost Ratio
1 Kenya 9 3 0 9 0 max 225 152 1.48
2 Algeria 6 2 1 6 4 1.50 229 207 1.11
3 Botswana 3 1 2 4 7 0.57 225 252 0.89
4 Mauritius 0 0 3 1 9 0.11 181 249 0.73

 

Pool ‘B’:

Rank Team Points Matches sets scores
Won Lost Won Lost Ratio Won Lost Ratio
1 Senegal 6 3 0 9 6 1.50 316 286 1.10
2 Cameroon 6 2 1 8 5 1.60 282 273 1.03
3 Tunisia 5 1 2 7 7 1.00 307 280 1.10
4 Morocco 1 0 3 3 9 0.33 218 284 0.77

Africa Cup of Nations volleyball (women):

PAST CHAMPIONS:

1976 (Port Said, Egypt):          [Gold]  Egypt beat [Silver] Tunisia,          [Bronze] – Morocco

1985 (Tunis, Tunisia):                Tunisia bt Egypt ,          B – Cameroon

1987 (Casablanca, Morocco):   Tunisia bt Morocco,   B – Egypt

1989 (Port Louis, Mauritius):      Egypt bt Mauritius,     B – Madagascar

1991 (Cairo, Egypt):                   Kenya bt Egypt,           B – Cameroon

1993 (Llovin, Nigeria):              Kenya bt Egypt,           B- Nigeria

1995 (Nairobi, Kenya):            Kenya bt Nigeria,       B – Tunisia

1997 (Nairobi, Kenya):            Kenya bt Nigeria,     B – Angola

1999 (Lagos, Nigeria):                    Tunisia bt Cameroon,   B- Nigeria

2001 (Port Harcourt, Nigeria):   Seychelles bt Nigeria,   B- Cameroon

2003 (Nairobi, Kenya):              Egypt bt Kenya,         B- Cameroon

2005 (Abuja, Nigeria):                 Kenya bt Nigeria,       B- Egypt

2007 (Nairobi, Kenya):            Kenya bt Algeria,     B – Tunisia

2009 (Batna, Algeria):                 Algeria bt Tunisia,    B – Cameroon

2011 (Nairobi, Kenya):            Kenya bt Algeria,      B – Egypt

2013 (Nairobi, Kenya):            Kenya bt Cameroon, B – Tunisia

2015 (Nairobi, Kenya):                 ??                 ??                   ??

– Additional reporting by cavb.org