Too, Makokha carry Kenyan hope in Cape Verde
- Kenya's hopes of a gold medal in the inaugural Africa beach games in Sal Cape Verde Islands lie with the women volleyball team after the men's team were eliminated by Mozambique at the quarter final stage
- Mozambique took control of the match from the first serve and never looked back. In a very quick first set, Mozambique wrapped up the set 21-18 without breaking a sweat
Mike Okinyi in Sal, Cape Verde
Kenya’s hopes of a gold medal in the inaugural Africa Beach Games in Sal Cape Verde Islands lie with the women volleyball team after the men’s team were eliminated by Mozambique at the quarter final stage.
Mozambique took control of the match from the first serve and never looked back. In a very quick first set, Mozambique wrapped up the set 21-18 without breaking a sweat.
In the second set, Kenya took off the blocks quickest and raced to a 4-1 lead. They maintained the 4 point lead until 12-16 when Mozambique changed tact to devastating effects.
They scored five straight points without a reply to take the lead for the first time at 17-16. Then the two teams tied the scores five consecutive times before Kenya eventually won 23-21.
At 1-1 it was game on. Opening third set saw the team trade the lead three times before Mozambique took control of the match. They went 10-4 up very quickly with Kenya offering no resistance.
Kenya managed two points to move to 6-10, but then it was downhill after that as Mozambique took the next five points to win the set 15-6.
On the women’s side, Kenya faced Nigeria for the second time in the tournament in two days. In the last group match on Friday, Nigeria stunned Kenya 2-0 to top the group.
The quarterfinal pairing was done according to the latest ranking, and as fate would have it, Kenya drew Nigeria once again.
There was no room for errors as the the pair of Naomie Too and Gaudencia Makokha took the game to Nigeria from the first serve.
They were more focussed and fought for every point, racing to a 12-6 lead. By the first time out, they were firmly in control at 14-7 with the momentum on their side. They maintained the seven points lead to take the first set 21-13.
The second set followed a similar pattern as Kenya stepped up the pressure on Nigeria. At the first time out, four points separated the two with Kenya leading 12-8.
Nigeria picked the next three points to close to 12-11, but then they could not hold their serve and Kenya once again restored the four points gap at the second time out the scores standing at 18-14.
Nigeria seemingly gave up on the chase after losing the next point as Kenya raced to a 21-15 win in the set, and 2-0 for the match.
“We talked a lot after losing to Nigeria in the group stage. We played badly, our reception was not good. We had to up our game today to show them what we can do,” said Too.
“They were serving to me all the time because in the previous game my reception was poor. Today I was calm because I knew they would do the same, but I was ready,” added Makokha.
The remaining teams that have made it to the semi finals are Kenya, hosts Cape Verde, Morrocco and Namibia.
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