Volleyball: Libero Elizabeth Wanyama dropped from All Africa Games qualifiers team

Libero Elizabeth Wanyama remains the surprise dropout from the strong 12-member team that jets out today (Friday) ahead of this weekend’s Volleyball All Africa Games qualifiers slated to start on Sunday at Lugogo Indoor Arena, Uganda.

Also overlooked are fast-rising stars, Esther Mutinda and Joy Lusenaka, but experienced regulars Jane Wacu and Jannet Wanja made the cut.

In the middle department, regulars Triza Atuka and Edith Wisa made the team alongside Lorine Chebet but Gladys Ekaru and Caroline Sirengo were dropped as were Jemima Siangu and Pamela Maisaisai.

Captain Mercy Moim leads the left attacking department, alongside Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya and reigning Africa Club Championships’ best attacker – Sharon Chepchumba.

The left-handed duo of  Immaculate Chemtai and Violet Makuto will lead the right attacking department, while Agripina Kundu will take care of the libero position after beating Wanyama and upcoming Linzy Jerutoin in the cadre.

Kenya will face long-time rivals Egypt, hosts Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda in the qualifying games of the tournament dubbed ‘Zone V Africa Games qualifiers’.

Head coach Japheth Munala says they cannot take chances as a lot is at stake.

“As much as the upcoming players have been impressive in the training, we had to go for experience as competition is tight. We believe with this squad, we can challenge for the title,” said Munala.

“There are many competitions coming up and I am sure the upcoming players will have their opportunity.

The players we have selected today have been playing together for quite some time now and there is that chemistry that could see us win the sole slot to Morocco.”

The second placed team may go through to the AAG as a best loser, depending on the results from the other four zones.

“No team is a threat to us. We will beat them all because we are in top shape,” said team captain Mercy Moim, who plies her trade at Thailand’s top flight side – Supreme Volleyball Club.

Similarly, coach Japheth Munala, who will be assisting Ramdoo in this assignment has backed the team to come good and has also hailed Ramdoo’s impact since joining the team at the start of this week.

The Italian coach was forwarded to Kenya by the International Volleyball Federation as part of a technical assistance program which also involves the Kenya Volleyball Federation.

Kenya beat Algeria, hosts Republic of Congo and Cameroon to win the 2015 African Games title in Brazzaville but have been forced to again qualify for the competition via the qualification matches.

Full team

Setters: Janet Wanja, Jane Wacu

Left attackers: Mercy Moim, Sharon Chepchumba, Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya,

Centre players: Edith Wisa, Trizah Atuka, Lorine Chebet,

Right attackers: Emmaculate Chemtai, Violet Makuto.

Libero: Agrippina Kundu                        


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