Aim on the prize, cautious Gitau warns charges after impressive start


Aim on the prize, cautious Gitau warns charges after impressive start
Junior Malkia strikers celebrate scoring a point against Tanzania during their 2018 Women's Under-20 African Nations Volleyball Championship at the Kasarani stadium from August 26, 2018. Kenya won 3-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • Kenya under-20 volleyball team head coach Paul Gitau has cautioned his charges against sleeping on their laurels after their flying start in the week-long Under-20 Africa Nations Championship which served off on Sunday at Kasarani Indoor Arena.
  • In last year’s edition, the former beat Algeria 3-1 to win the title and will be aiming to defend the crown in this year’s edition which ends on September 2.

Kenya under-20 volleyball team head coach Paul Gitau has cautioned his charges against sleeping on their laurels after their flying start in the week-long Under-20 Africa Nations Championship which served off on Sunday at Kasarani Indoor Arena.

The Malkia Junior Strikers downed Tanzania in straights sets of 25-15, 25-21 and 25-11 in Pool A opener to start their quest for the elusive title on high note, but Gitau is not leaving anything to chance ahead of their second preliminary tie against Nigeria on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Citizen Digital after edging their opponents, the seasoned tactician warned his charges to expect a tough encounter against the latter adding that they must be on top form yet again when they confront the West Africans to sail through to the last four.

“My players followed my instructions well against Tanzania and that is why we won. However, I don’t want them to get carried away by that win because we have two games in our pool so our heads should be up until we win this title. There are still some areas like blocking and reception which I think we ought to improve,” said Gitau who also doubles up as the Kenya Volleyball Federation league side Nak’s men team head coach.

Gitau is however optimistic if they carry on with their performance they can bag this year’s gong and eventually earn the single ticket to represent the continent in next year’s world championship for the same age bracket slated for Japan.

Susan-Megut-L-and-Belinda-Nanjala-blocks-a-strike-from-Janet-Iweni-of-Tanzania./photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

“Of course we target to win this title and because it’s only one team which will be flying Africa’s flag in Japan then we have to win it,’’ he averred.

On Thursday, the junior strikers will finish their preliminary matches against Cameroon who opens their campaign against Nigeria on Monday afternoon.

Elsewhere, defending champions Egypt announced their intentions to retain the title they have won since 2002 in style defeating hapless Uganda by straight sets of 25-14, 25-16 and 25-12 in Pool B opener.

In last year’s edition, the former beat Algeria 3-1 to win the title and will be aiming to defend the crown in this year’s edition which ends on September 2.

In another Pool B tie played on Sunday, DR Congo thrashed Mauritius by straight sets of 25-23, 25-18 and 25-23.

Summarised Day 1 Results/Fixtures

Day 1

Sunday 26/8/2018

Group B

1400hrs: Mauritius-Congo-  (0-3)

Group A

1600hrs: Kenya-Tanzania- (3-0)

Group B

1800hrs: Egypt-Uganda (3-0)

DAY 2 FIXTURES

Monday 27/08/2018

Group A

1400hrs: Nigeria-Cameroon

Group B

1600hrs: Congo-Egypt

Group B

1800hrs: Rwanda-Mauritius

DAY 3 FIXURES

Tuesday 28/08/2018

Group A

1400hrs: Cameroon-Tanzania

Group B

1600hrs: Egypt-Rwanda

Group B

1800hrs: Uganda-Congo

DAY 4 FIXTURES

Wednesday 29/08/2018

Group B

1400hrs: Rwanda-Uganda

Group A

1600hrs: Nigeria-Kenya

Group B

1800hrs: Mauritius-Egypt

Day 5 FIXTURES

Thursday 30/08/2018

Group A

1200hrs: Tanzania-Nigeria

Group B

1400hrs: Uganda-Mauritius

Group A

1600hrs: Kenya-Cameroon

Group B

1800hrs: Congo-Rwanda

 

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Story By Stanley Mativo
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