Kenya technical bench kept faith with the squad that featured in the World Championship last year in Japan as they named a strong 12-member team ahead of this weekend’s All Africa Games qualifiers in Uganda.
Out of last year’s team, libero Elizabeth Wanyama was the only player who failed to make the cut while Christine Siwa was not part of the provisional squad of the 20 players who have been undergoing training at Moi Stadium, Kasarani Indoor Arena.
The team will compete against Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, bitter rivals Egypt and hosts Uganda for the sole ticket to the All Africa Games in Morocco in August.
In the setting position, fast-rising Esther Mutinda and Joy Lusenaka were overlooked as the experienced and regular duo of Jane Wacu and Jannet Wanja made the cut.
In the middle department, regulars Triza Atuka and Edith Wisa made the team alongside Lorine Chebet with Gladys Ekaru and Caroline Sirengo being dropped.
Team captain Mercy Moim lead the left attacking department alongside Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya and reigning Africa Club Championship best attacker Sharon Chepchumba. Jemima Siangu and Pamela Maisaisai didn’t pass the test.
The left-handed duo of Immaculate Chemtai and Violet Makuto will man the right attacking department while Agripina Kundu will take care of libero position after beating Wanyama and upcoming Linzy Jerutoin the cadre.
Asked about the squad, coach Japheth Munala said they can’t take chances as a lot is at stake. “As much as the upcoming players have been impressive in the training, we had to go for experience as competition is tight. We believe with this squad, we can challenge for the title,” said Munala, who doubles up as the KCB coach.
He added: “There are many competitions coming up and I am sure the upcoming players will have their opportunity. The players we have selected today have been playing together for quite some time now and there is that chemistry that could see us win the sole slot to Morocco,” he added.
The team is expected to depart to the host nation today ahead of that starts on Sunday at the Lugogo Indoor Arena.
Squad: Edith Wisa, Emmaculat Chemtai, Mercy moim, Jane Wacu, Jannet Wanja Trizah Atuka, Agripina Kundu, Sharon Chepchumba, Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya, Violet Makuto and Lorine Chebet.