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Kenya win Zone Five tourney

Sunday July 30 2017

Kenyan players celebrate a point against Rwanda during their African volleyball World Championship qualifier match at the Kasarani Indoor arena on July 29, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenyan players celebrate a point against Rwanda during their African volleyball World Championship qualifier match at the Kasarani Indoor arena on July 29, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Kenya on Sunday won the women's CAVB Zone Five World Championship qualifying tournament at the Kasarani Indoor Arena with an easier than expected 3-0 sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-17) win over arch-rivals Egypt.

Egypt finished second in this tournament despite the loss, and joined Kenya in qualifying for the Africa Nations Championship in Cairo in October.

Crucially, these two teams remain on course to securing qualification to the World Championship in Japan next year.

In the other fixture of the day played earlier on at the same venue, a gallant Ugandan side recovered from two sets down to defeat Rwanda 3-2 sets (23-25,19-25, 25-16, 25-23, 15-9) to claim bronze in this four team tournament.

Rwanda finished last.

Against Egypt, it was Violet Makuto's lethal left handed attacking prowess that ultimately determined the victorious team.

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Violet is the latest eye catching talent off the Makuto family's conveyor belt.

She is a younger sibling to Asha and Everylne, who recently exported their talents to Qatar and France respectively.

And with Everylne watching on from the bench for the entirety of the game, the tactical North Africans started out strongly, seemingly all too keen to capitalize on the hosts weaknesses, especially, the lack of adequate cover at the back court.

This they managed to the optimum, taking a 8-6 and 16-14 advantage at the first and technical time-out respectively to silence a capacity crowd at the 5,000 seater venue.

Makuto however salvaged the situation with a series of spikes that the Egyptians failed to contend with to level the scores at 17-all.

Not done as yet, the Kenya Pipeline attacker would win four more crucial points directly from her serves mainly targeting shaky Egyptian libero Hassan Alman as the hosts moved on to win the opening set by a right point margin.

Egypt never recovered from this set-back even as Mercy Moim, Brackides Agala and Noel Murambi joined in on demolishing Egypt's defence.

"I'm so excited to win my first trophy for Kenya. It wasn't easy because remember we lost to them(Egypt) last year. I congratulate my girls and the office for all the support. Our target is to play at the World Championship," said Kenya coach Japheth Munala.

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