KAMPALA. Uganda fell to a better and more experienced opponent in Kenya in the decisive game of the Zone V Women’s Championships that climaxed Tuesday at MTN Arena, Lugogo.
Both sides had seen off Rwanda and Ethiopia on Monday and Sunday to put ensure their meeting in the round-robin had a final’s appeal to it.
Kenya were commanding as they combined both style and power to win 0-3 (20-25, 17-25, 16-25) and seal the Championship. This also meant that they qualified for the August 19-31 All Africa Games, where they have won gold in four of nine editions, in Morocco.
Uganda, you could argue, crumbled under the weight of expectation as their best volleyball always came in moments when their opponents were having commanding leads.
There was a moment when Kenya led 9-16 in the first set but Uganda rallied to 18-20. You could forgive everyone that thought the She Cranes were on the verge on replicating their form from a day earlier when they beat Rwanda in the first set 25-20 after trailing 11-16 at some point.
It is at such points that Uganda, with the help of Saidat Nnungi, got their service going. Otherwise, there were many service errors as Uganda tried hard to generate the kind of pace on the ball that could trouble the Malkia Stars.
Unfortunately, the more Uganda got close, the faster the nerves came to the fore. But they bit even harder after a brilliant start to the second set.
Coach Tonny Lakony, had hoped for better net defence, service reception and a bench capable of maintaining the stability of the first six.
In bits he got that, but his girls could not muster the consistency from the games against Ethiopia and Rwanda.
ZONE V CHAMPIONSHIPS
Uganda 3-0 Ethiopia
(25-17, 25-19, 25-13)
Uganda 3-1 Rwanda
(25-20, 21-25, 25-19, 25-17)
Uganda 0-3 Kenya
(20-25, 17-25, 16-25)