Wanja,Wacu top Munala’s championship squad


Jane Wacu (Number 1) with the rest of the Malkia Strikers. PHOTO/StaffordOndego/www.sportpicha.com
Jane Wacu (Number 1) with the rest of the Malkia Strikers. PHOTO/StaffordOndego/www.sportpicha.com

Experienced setters Janet Wanja and Jane Wacu top the list of the squad which the national women volleyball head coach Japheth Munala released on Tuesday for the forthcoming African Nation Championship.

Also in the squad are skipper Mercy Moim, Violet Makuto, Triza Atuka, Praxides Khadambi, amongst others.

The team jets out on October 5 aboard an Ethiopian airline for Yaounde, Cameroon, for the competition.

The Championship  runs between October 7-15.

Kenyan International Jane Wacu follows action against Egypt during their Women's Under 23 African Nations volleyball champions at Safaricom Gymnasium stadium Kasarani on October 24, 2016. Egypt won 3-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Kenyan International Jane Wacu follows action against Egypt during their Women’s Under 23 African Nations volleyball champions at Safaricom Gymnasium stadium Kasarani on October 24, 2016. Egypt won 3-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

However, there was no room for the under- 23 fast raising trio of Cellestine Nyongesa, Shyrene Jepkemboi and Veronica Tanui. Joy Luseneka was also overlooked.

Kenya Prisons Emmaculate Chemtai will be making her African Nations Championship debut after a series of excellent performances in the qualifiers.

Speaking at the Safaricom Indoor arena, head coach Japheth Munala said that he believes in the team, and is optimistic that they will deliver.

“We are highly confident because we are the defending champions. We are going to work hard in Yaoundé so as to come back with the title.”

Munala is however cautious of the threat posed by Cameroon, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.

“Cameroon is our biggest threat in this championship. They have amassed a great deal of experience from the Grand Prix which we (Kenya) missed out. They are also at home and therefore they have massive support from their fans. We beat Egypt 3-0 here in Nairobi in 2015, but this time round it may not be easy. We will also be on the lookout for Tunisia and Algeria,”Munala warned.

Assistant Malkia Strikers coach, Japheth Munala gives the players instructions during a TTO in their 3-0 defeat to Puerto Rico on Monday. May 23, 2016. PHOTO/Dennis Machio
Assistant Malkia Strikers coach, Japheth Munala gives the players instructions during a TTO in their 3-0 defeat to Puerto Rico on Monday. May 23, 2016. PHOTO/Dennis Machio

Veteran Janet Wanja downplayed issues surrounding her retirement and comeback into the team, stating that she is grooming and encouraging young players to work hard and take the mantle from her.

“I don’t want to talk about that (retirement). I only retired once and I was called back by the coach. Right now I am mentoring two hot prospects in our setter position that will be better than me and Wacu. All they have to do is work hard and be disciplined,” she said. “I believe in them and in the team and I am not putting myself ahead of the team. Despite wanting to achieve something personally like being the best setter, I want us to win the title.”

Veteran setter, Janet Wanja's hair do turned heads in San Juan during their opening defeat to Colombia. PHOTO/FIVB
Veteran setter, Janet Wanja’s hair do turned heads in San Juan during their opening defeat to Colombia. PHOTO/FIVB.

Full squad

Jane Wacu

Janet Wanja

Violet Makuto

Triza Atuka

Praxides Khadambi

Edith Wisa

Mercy Moim captain

Evaline Makuto

Noel Murambi

Leonida Kasaya

Agripina Kundu

Report by John Mbati

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