Tunisia win ticket to FIVB Women's World Championship


Tunisia's Maissa Lengliz attacks Kenya in the decisive match of World Champs qualifier

Nairobi, Kenya, February 22, 2014 – Tunisia secured their
third FIVB World Championships ticket after they defeated Kenya 3-2 (25-21,
24-26, 15-25, 28-26, 15-10) in decisive African Pool “U” qualification
tournament at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday.

Tunisia completed the tournament with win-loss ratio of 5-0
while Kenya dropped to 4-1.

Tunisia shocked Kenya when they gained the first point of
the set, but Maissa Lengliz hit the net to give the home team their first
point. A wide serve by Tunisia and successful blocks by Makuto and and Agala
handed the home team two more points to take 3-1 lead.

Tunisia’s powerful attackers Kaouther Jemaii and Barhoumi
Marwa were outstanding in attack as they gained points to propel their team to
a 6-5 and 8-7 advantage at the first technical time out.

Inaccurate serving cost Kenya at least two points before the
first official break. Mercy Moim’s spike from the centre helped Kenya to level
the scores 8-8, but Jemaii crasher put Kenya ahead with one point advantage.

Tunisia gained a service ace that extended their lead to
12-9 forcing Kenyan coach to call time out. Tunisia’s combination of Messera
Hlima, Fatma Agreb and Kaouther were outstanding in the attack with successful
blocks and attacks. Kenya’s reception was wanting as Tunisia raced to 15-12
lead and went on to maintain their lead, taking 16-13 advantage at the second

Kenya improved their attacks through Ruth Jepleting and Moim
to narrow the gap to one point at 19-18. Lungaho introduced Wanja in place of
Wacu at 21-20 in favour of Tunisia. Tunisia maintained tempo to win the set

Inspired by first set victory, Tunisia started the second
set with more firepower, penetrating Kenya’s porous blocks to score points and
take 8-7 lead at the time out.

But the hosts, cheered on by the capacity crowd, gained a
narrow 16-15 lead at the second time out. Tension gripped Kenya’s team as
Tunisia closed the gap to 22-21 but a blockbuster by Makuto on the left allowed
the home team to regain a two-point lead at 23-21 before cruising to 26-24 set

The third set started on cracking note with both team
fighting to gain control of the match. Tunisia’s controversial player Kaouther
was shown a red card for arguing with referee number one of Cameroon. The red
card followed a yellow that Kaouther had been given in the second set over the
same argument. As the red card in volleyball applies to all team members, it
meant that any player who misbehaves in the affected side is sent out. A
charged Kenyan team did not waste time as they went ahead to open commanding
22-13 lead before bagged the set 25-15.

Tunisia raced to an 8-4 lead in the fourth set and opened
four points gap at 12-8 before assuming 16-9 advantage, the difference that
silenced the home crowd. Tunisia dominated the proceedings taking 17-12 lead
before the home girls fought gallantly to narrow the gap to 19-18. The teams
tied at 20-20 before Kenya rushed to one point lead at 21-20. Thereafter the
set turned into a one-point game before Tunisia took the set 28-26.

Tunisia continued their superb performance to win the
tiebreak 15-10 and the ticket to the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship
Italy 2014.

In the second match of the day, Senegal rallied from one set
down to defeat Uganda 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-22) in a thrilling match to
bring their win-loss record to 3-2 and finish the qualifiers in third position.

The first few minutes of play saw both teams exchange leads
at the some point tying at 5-5 before Uganda’s Eunice Amuron powerful attack
saw the neighbors open a one-point lead at the first technical time out, to
lead 8-7. Uganda picked up from where they left, thanks to good combination of
Eunice Nuwabiga, Astreede Agaaba. Moreen Mwamula also picked quick points
thanks to Agaabas’s powerful attacks to open a four-point lead at 22-8. After a
few minutes, Uganda was ahead of Senegal.

To wrap up the Pool U qualifiers, Seychelles shrugged off
stiff challenge from rejuvenated Mozambique to win the match 3-2 (24-25, 25-22,
23-25, 25-18, 15-13) and bring their win loss record to 1-4 and finish in
position five.


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