October 20, 2013 remains memorable in the minds of Volleyball fans around Uganda. On that historic Sunday night at Lugogo, the Lady Volleyball Cranes defeated Egypt 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25 -20) in the Africa Zone V World Cup Qualifiers.
On Friday in Yaoundé Cameroon, the two sides open their campaigns for the 2016 summer Olympics slot quest with probably Egypt having that loss behind them while the Ugandans will draw inspiration from it.
Tonny Lakony, Burt Murting are still the men in charge with Johnson Kawenyera joining the coaching department at the championship that avails only one ticket to the Rio Games this August.
Team skipper and probably main setter Milly Laker made the team’s intentions clear as they were flagged off last week at Lugogo.
We are going as underdogs but with a target of pulling off a surprise. Of course finishing number one is a tall order, but we are targeting the next two avail slots, number two or three will be good enough for us
While the winner of the championship gets an automatic qualification to the Rio de Janeiro games, the other two teams that finish second and third will play in the world qualifiers.
Uganda and Egypt are in Pool A with Botswana and Algeria while Pool B has nine time African champions Kenya, Tunisia and hosts Cameroon.
Kenyan coach Japheth Munala who is taking charge of the side from predecessor and now technical director David Lungaho stressed that the Malkia Spikers were in Cameroon to play for the top price.
We are coming here to win the tournament to continue our great performance at the international level after we gained the gold medal of the World Grand Prix last year. Our pool is very tough but I know my ladies are able to make it to the Olympics.
Kenya’s biggest challenge will be Algeria who seeking their third consecutive Olympic ticket after they gained the African lone slot at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and 2012 in London.
Team in Cameroon
Setters: Milly Laker (Captain), Eunice Nuwabigaba
Centers: Joan Nabbuto, Zaina Kagoya, Saidat Nungi
Receivers: Peace Busingye, Margaret Namyalo, Belinda Jepkirui
Diagonal: Irene Amoding
Libero: Flavia Nandawula
Head coach: Tony Lakony
Friday, February 12 fixtures
Uganda v Egypt – 3pm
Algeria v Botswana – 5pm
Cameroon v Tunisia – 8pm
Saturday, February 13 fixtures
Uganda vs Algeria – 4pm
Egypt vs Botswana – 6pm
Tunisia vs Kenya – 8pm
Sunday, February 14 fixtures
Botswana v Uganda – 4pm
Algeria vs Egypt – 6pm
Kenya vs Cameroon – 8pm