What you need to know:
- In the absence of Cuthbert Malinga, Gideon Angiro filled the void and made a case for himself while Samuel Engwau started ahead of Dickens Otim for the Cranes.
Uganda registered her first victory at the African Nations Championship in Kigali, Rwanda Tuesday morning.
The Volleyball Cranes defeated Burkina Faso 3-1 to announce their arrival on the continent.
Playing at this level for the first time, Uganda’s team featured the tried and tested as well as new blood.
In the absence of Cuthbert Malinga, Gideon Angiro filled the void and made a case for himself while Samuel Engwau started ahead of Dickens Otim for the Cranes.
Allan Ejiet also came on later in the game to replace George Aporu while setter Marino Aboke also played a apart.
Angiro started by making Uganda’s first three points and the Cranes led 3-0 early in the set.
Uganda led by two points at the first technical timeout.
The lead stretched to four points (16-12) at the second technical timeout with captain George Aporu and Daudi Okello bitting on offence.
Okello’s hard serve took the lead to six points(18-1) and Burkina Faso needed a timeout.
Shilla Omuriwe Buyungo’s charges were in total control and took the first set of the tournament 25-15.
Burkina Faso struggled to get a thing right but made the first point of the second set. They competed and made it 3-3 before fading and allowing Uganda a four-point lead (8-4) at the first technical timeout.
Uganda maintained a four-point advantage midway through the set but Engwau twice attacked off court and the West Africans closed the gap to two points. When the deficit went to a single point (12-11), Omuriwe called for a timeout to figure out things.
The Cranes steadied the ship to take the set 25-18 and lead 2-0 in the game with Okello and Angiro firing through the Burkina Faso block.
Third set mess
Okello and Engwau combined to block for Uganda’s first point of the third set.
Burkina Faso, however, recovered and took a rare four-point lead (8-4) at the first technical timeout.
With Uganda trailing 11-12, Aporu was struck by the ball in the face and had to come off for medical attention.
That forced Omuriwe into her first substitution of the game with Ejiet replacing the captain.
Burkina Faso stayed on on course and led 16-13 at the second technical timeout.
The West Africans improved their reception and defended well on the net while on the other side forcing the Cranes into errors.
Omuriwe switched setters by bringing on Marino Aboke for Smith Okumu late in the set.
Uganda levelled at 21 but Burkina Faso held their nerves and led 24-23 before Ejiet levelled again.
The two sides exchanged the advantage after the deuce and when Burkina Faso led 27-26, Omuriwe took a timeout but Burkina Faso went on to take the set 28-26.
Uganda set the pace early in the fourth frame and led 8-3 at the first technical timeout.
Omuriwe’s troops improved their defence on the net and chocked Burkina Faso’s offence to lead 16-8 at the second technical timeout.
The Cranes went on to take the set 25-13 to win their opening game of the tournament.
Victory over Burundi on thursday will confirm a quarterfinal spot for Uganda with a group game to spare.