Kenya beat Uganda in Africa Zone Five Championship opener
Kenya beat Uganda in a hotly contested Zone 5 Qualifier match at Kasarani in Nairobi on Monday
A 15-12 victory in the tie breaker saw hosts Kenya beat Uganda three sets to two (22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-27, 15-12) at the Kasarani Gymnasium on Monday to start their Africa Zone Five men’s volleyball championship on a high.
The home boys had come from one set down to lead 2-1 and were on the way to a four-set victory before an attacking error saw Uganda force the game into the fifth set.
Kenya had recovered from losing the first set 25-22 to win the next two in identical scores of 25-21. They should have easily won the fourth set as they were leading 24-22 but at match point, saw an error of communication between the setter and outside hitter give Uganda a point.
They went on to progress to win the set 27-25 and force the game to go into the full length.
Uganda had made the most out of Kenya’s reception weakness in the opening set, with Kathbart Malinga and Daudi Okello doing the damage with their arrowed spikes seeing Kenya left in sixes and sevens.
However, head coach Moses Epoloto’s pep-talk after the first half seemed to work magic as they come back stronger, improving their blocks and doing better in attack, with Michael Chemos and Nicholas Matui being the conductors of the orchestra.
It was a replicate performance in the third set with Kenya leading 16-10 at the second TTO. Uganda tried to squeeze in the gap to 22-20, but Kenya regained its footing to win 25-21.
After the mess in the fourth set, Kenya pushed on by a sizeable crowd at the gymnasium were in no mood for mistakes and they controlled the set from the start.
Earlier on, Rwanda lost 3-1 to Egypt. On Tuesday, Kenya will face the Rwandese while Uganda take on Egypt. Tanzania pulled off in the 11th hour due to luck of funds and only these four teams will contest the championship.
The winner of the games will earn a ticket to the Africa Games set to be held in Morocco in September.