By AFESEH APONG
sports writer kick442.com, Cameroon.
The volleyball lionesses of Cameroon have bowed 2 sets to 3 to their Kenyan counterparts, in a day three game of the Tokyo 2020 African Women’s Volleyball qualifiers, taking place at the Yaoundé multipurpose sports complex.
Koulla Henriette had the first serve of the game, but Murambi Noel spike hard to give Kenya the lead. Cameroon’s captain Christelle NANA made it 1#1 within a short notice, but Kenya quickly got their way back with fast points, as the led 4#1 in just one minute and 47 seconds. Bikatal Simone Flore made some beautiful spikes to reduce the gap.
At the first technical time out after six minutes, it was Kenya leading by eight points to five. When play resumed, Murambi Noel’s serve fell out of the court to give Cameroon a free point, but the Kenyans sprinted back and extended their lead to 10#6, forcing Cameroon to ask for a time out.
Poor receptions from Cameroon, made things easier for Kenya as their lead widened to 16#7, in just 13 minutes, at the time the third technical time out was announced. Kenya will then sweep the set by an imposing 25#16, in 25 minutes and 45 seconds.
Kenya started the second set with the same energy, as Moim Mercy, Chumba and Co picked up the first point of the set, but it would be a tightly contested set, with a Micky mouse kind of play, with Cameroon leading 8#7 at the first time out of the set. Christelle Nana and her teammates continued with a narrow lead, despite some confusing moments from the umpires.
When Kenya drew the set levelled at 22#22, Bibinbe Ruth Manuela came in with a decisive block, which proved vital, as the volleyball lionesses went on to claim the set 25#23, in a nerve breaking 35 minutes, to put the game at one set either sides.
The third set lasted for over 28 minutes, with Kenya withstanding the pressure from Cameroon, to win 25 points to 21, setting way for the fourth set.
Cameroon got up to a remarkable improvement in the fourth set, as they got the blocks and spikes nearly perfect. Despite a late fight back from Kenya, 31 minutes were enough for the volleyball lionesses of Cameroon to outsmart Kenya 25 points to 23, as the tie break came calling.
The Kenyans made no mistake in the tie break, as they won 15 points to 11, in just 15 minutes, therefore winning the game 3 sets to 2.
CAMEROON 2#3 KENYA.
Kenya therefore leads the race to grab Africa’s lone ticket for Tokyo 2020. Cameroon will next play Egypt on Wednesday, while Kenya will have a day of rest, as they prepare to wrap up the tournament on Thursday against bottom placed Nigeria.
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