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Kenya face rivals Algeria in supremacy battle

National women’s volleyball team players have urged Kenyans to turn out in large numbers at the Kasarani Indoor Arena in Nairobi to cheer them up as they continue their Africa Nations Cup title defence against Algeria on Sunday.

The Kenyan girls easily swept away minnows Mauritius in their opening encounter on Friday evening in straight sets of 25-12, 25-13, and 25-17, and team captain Brackcides Agala has appealed for the fans’ support in the match against the North Africans.

“Whenever we are playing outside the country, we are usually subjected to certain levels of intimidation by the huge turnout of the hosts’ fans, and I think that impacts our performance. I ask Kenyans and even the president to spare some time to come and offer us moral support during the match,” the 27-year-old Kenyan international said.

TITLE DEFENCE

Mauritius is the other team in Kenya’s Pool A where the top two teams will progress to the quarterfinals which will be held next week.

Of the three Pool ‘A’ opponents, Algeria represent the biggest challenge to Kenya’s quest of defending the title, and coach David Lung’aho hinted that he will retain the squad that beat Mauritius in their opening game on Friday.

“We have a strategy to enable us retain this cup and so we shall not be making any unnecessary changes in the line-up. We are lucky that we have many experienced players in the squad. I believe we will match the Algerians who have several players based in France,” Lung’aho said.

To counter the attacking threat of the experienced Algerians, Lung’aho is likely to start with setter Jane Wanja and sensational libero Elizabeth Wanyama in the defensive formation with Agala, Ruth Jepng’etich, Mercy Moim and Evelyn Makuto spearheading the attack.