Spot-on Malkia Strikers on Wednesday evening advanced to the semi-finals of the ongoing Women’s Africa Nations Volleyball Championship following a sparkling straight win against Botswana at the October 6 Hall in Cairo, Egypt.
The record nine-time Africa champions eased past the South Africans with sets of 25-16, 25-18 and 25-11 to storm to the last four with a game to spare and are scheduled to face holders Cameroon on Thursday 9pm.
Having known their last-four fate, of importance now for Malkia Strikers is Group B final match against Cameroon where they must defeat the latter to avoid meeting hosts Egypt who firmly lead Pool A with six points.
Speaking to Citizen Digital after Botswana’s triumph, Italian coach Shailene Ramdoo who was seconded to Kenya by FIVB termed the tie against Cameroon ‘a do or die’ affair.
“Yes, we are in semis but this game is very vital for us because Cameroon are the defending champions and again we want to finish top of the table to avoid meeting Egypt although we do not fear them,” he said.
Cameroon, who hammered Botswana 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-10) in their opening match on Tuesday, showed their might again with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-5, 26-24) thrashing of Algeria in their second match Wednesday night.
Kenya lost 3-1 to Cameroon in 2017 in Younde and Ramdoo alongside his assistant Japheth Munala are eyeing to right the wrongs of two years ago.
Meanwhile, after the Africa competition which is scheduled to end on July 15, Malkia is scheduled to fly out for Olympic Games qualifiers which will be played in Italy from August 2-4 where they are scheduled to face World Championships runners up Italy then Netherlands and Belgium.
The team will be eyeing to return to Olympics tourney set for Japan next year after a 15-year drought with their last outing dating back to 2004 where they finished at position 11, similar to the previous and first outing in 2000.
Immediately after Italy assignment, Malkia will head to Morocco to defend their 2015 All African Games title.
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