Kenya lands pool of death in Nations Championship


FILE:The Kenya volleyball team pose for a team photo at a past event.The ...
FILE:The Kenya volleyball team pose for a team photo at a past event.The team is in Egypt for the African Nation Championship.IMAGE/Michezoafrika.

The Kenya men volleyball team have been drawn up against  Tunisia, Ghana and Libya in pool B of the African  Nations Championship which serves off in Cairo, Egypt from 22-29th October.

Pool A has hosts  and favourites Egypt, Nigeria and Congo RD. Cameroon, Morocco and Nigeria will battle it out in group C, as Algeria, Botswana,Rwanda and Chad face off in pool D.

The drawing of lots for the 2017 Men’s African Nations Championship was done in Cairo, Egypt in presence of CAVB President Dr Amr Elwani and Control committee of the competition on Saturday.

The top 2 teams in each of the preliminary Pool will qualify for the quarterfinal which will be the knockout stage, where the winner of Pool A play runner up of Pool D. Pool D leaders face runner up of Pool A. Leaders of Pool B combat runner up of Pool C and head of Pool C meet runner up of Pool B.

The winners of the quarterfinal qualify for the semifinal and then the winners of this stage go through to the final.

 

Reacting to the drwas, Kenya volleyball team head coach Moses Epoloto termed the group “good” urging  his brigade to start campaign with a win against Ghana when they sweat it out in their first group B match on Sunday in Cairo, Egypt.
“We are in a good group. We have no problem facing Ghana, Tunisia and Libya. For now everything is okay. My boys are upbeat and therefore we will approach our first game against Ghana tomorrow with a winning mentality. The boys share my confidence,”  Epoloto told  Citizen Digital in an online interview
The East African boys have a high chance of earning a quarter final slot but they will have to be at their best to outsmart eight time champions Tunisia, who are the group favourites and one of the major title contenders, and also beat an unharmful Libyan side.
However, they will draw confidence from the fact that they have faced Tunisia and Ghana in previous duels i.e in African Nations Championship in 2007 (in Durban, South Africa) where they lost to Tunisia three straight sets to nil.
” We have played Ghana and Tunisia previously and we have knowledge of how they play,” Epoloto said affirmatively.
However the match against Libya is a grey area in which the Kenyan team will have to approach cautiosly having never faced Libya at all.
Top 2 teams from all the four groups will head into the quarter finals .The competition serves as qualifier for 2018 Italy/Bulgaria World Championships with the top three teams in Africa assured of spots since Africa has been awarded three slots.

The 2017 Men’s African championship doubles also as 2018 World Championship qualifiers where the top three African teams book their tickets to represent Africa in the FIVB Prestigious championship

Meanwhile, the Kenyan team looked relaxed at their Cairo base as they went through a gym workout.

Pool Composition

Pool A: Egypt- Niger- Congo RD

Pool B: Tunisia- Ghana- Kenya- Libya

Pool C: Cameroon- Morocco- Nigeria

Pool D: Algeria- Botswana- Rwanda- Chad

Additional reporting by Philip Muchiri

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