Sport

Cameroon stop Kenya to retain Africa Nations Championships

Cameroon stop Kenya to retain Africa Nations Championships

Cameroon players celebrate after winning the Africa Nations Championships title against Kenya in the final on September 19, 2021 at the Kigali Arena.

Photo credit: Pool | CAVB

Cameroon women's volleyball team completed a double against Kenya with a deserved 3-1(25-2125-23,15-25 and 25-23) win to retain the African Nations Championships title as the event came to an end Sunday night at Kigali arena, Rwanda.

Cameroon had won against Kenya in the first match of pool "B" last Sunday. And with the win, the Central Africans made it a hattrick of titles.

On the flip side, Kenya will have to wait for another two years to try and reclaim the title they won last won in 2015 in Nairobi.

The two nations will represent Africa in next year's World Championships in Poland and Netherlands respectively.

Kenya coach Paul Bitok kept faith with the squad that won against Morocco 3-0 in the semifinal Sunday morning.

Mercy Moim, Edith Wisa, Esther Mutinda, Leonida Kasaya, Sharon Chepchumba,  Gladys Ekaru and Agripina Kundu were tasked  to see off rivals Cameroon.

Kenya's poor services and reception in the first set saw Cameroon lead 8-6 in the first technical time out before Chepchumba, Wisa and Mutinda combined upfront to force both teams to tie 10-10.

Cameroon were a composed side in the proceedings as they extended their lead to 16-14 in the second TTO.

Stephanie Fotso, Moma Bassoko and team captain Christelle Nana impressed in their respective department as Cameroon extended their lead to 22-18.

Poor service came back to haunt Kenya as Cameroon took the set 25-21.

Kenya led 6-4 and 8-5 in the second TTO with Chepchumba's individual effort noticed with her jump services. Ekaru and Mutinda then mounted blocks to extend Kenya's lead to 11-7,15-11 and 16-12 in the second TTO.

Kenya's back court defence faltered as Cameroon closed the gap to 17-16 before both teams tied 17-17 and 19-19.

The Central Africans then took advantage of the leaking Kenyans blocks to overtake them 21-19, 23-21, before bagging the set 25-23 for a 2-0 advantage.

In the third set, Kenya were first off the blocks and they never looked back with 8-5 and 16-10 leads in both TTOs.

Middle blocker Ekaru was then stretched off the courts after she landed poorly with   Lorraine Chebet taking over.

Chebet partnered well with Mutinda and Kasaya as Cameroon played a catch up game, but they eventually lost the set 25-15 to set up a fourth set.

Simone Bikatal, Emelda Piata and Nana regrouped as Cameroon squeezed an 8-7 lead in fourth set before Wisa, Mutinda and Kasaya powered Kenya to a 16-15 lead in the second TTO.

Poor services and unforced errors from the Kenyan side gifted their opponents points as they overtook them 20-18 and 22-20 before they won the set 25-23 and the match altogether.

Ekaru, Moim and Chepchumba were awarded the best blocker, best receiver and best attacker in that order respectively.

Cameroon's Bassoko and Nana were feted the best server and Most Valuable Player, while Moroccan Alexandra Erhart and Yousra Saudi were named best setter and libero respectively.