Malkia Strikers vow to fly Kenyan flag high in Cairo
The national women’s volleyball team will depart the country for Cairo on Friday ahead of their quest to reclaim their African Women’s Volleyball Championship title.
The Kenyan queens will also carry a sense of duty to atone for the country’s sporting image following the Harambee Stars’ inglorious exit from the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Kenya fell 3-1 to Cameroon during the 2017 final and the Malkia Strikers, who have the competition nine times, have vowed to reclaim their place as the continent’s ultimate volleyball queens.
The biannual event serves off from July 7 to 15 in the Egyptian capital and Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) president Waithaka Kioni is backing Malkia Strikers to go all the way.
They clinched this year’s Zone Five All African Games ticket in Uganda in May and the KVF boss Kioni believes their form is only a precursor of what Kenyans should expect of the team.
“We want to pick from where Harambee Stars left but in volleyball and I believe we will put a good show in Cairo. We have had good preparations since May and the government has facilitated us well so what is remaining is to bring glory home,” Kioni said.
The Kenyan side has been holding intensive training at the Kasarani Indoor arena under the guidance of Italian coach Shaleen Ramdoo who was seconded to the country by FIVB alongside Japheth Munala.
The two named a strong squad on Tuesday ahead of the championship and choosing to go for experience as they gear their charges for glory , there was no place for setter Esther Mutinda and much improved setter Joy Luseneka.
Malkia’s14-woman squad includes experienced setters Jane Wacu who plies her trade in Seychelles with Anse Royale (ARSU) and Kenya Pipeline’s long-serving Janet Wanja – who command a combined experience of over three decades in the game.
Also in the squad is seasoned Kenya Prisons left attacker and captain Mercy Moim, fast-rising Sharon Chepchumba who was feted best attacker at this year’s CAVB Women’s Volleyball Club Championship and KCB’s Violet Makuto.
Setters – Jane Wacu, Jannet Wanja;
Liberos -Agrippina Kundu, Elizabeth Wanyama;
Centres – Triza Atuka, Brackcides Agala, Edith Wisa and Gladys Ekaru
Left attackers – Mercy Moim, Sharon Chepchumba, Leonida Kasaya and Noel Murambi
Right attackers – Violet Makuto and Immaculate Chemtai