Kenya 3-1 Rwanda
Egypt 3-0 Botswana
Ranking with points
Rwanda missed out on the finals of the 2017 World Championships in Slovenia after losing to hosts Kenya 3-1 at the Africa U23 Women Volleyball Championships that climaxed on Thursday evening at the Safaricom Indoor Stadium in Kasarani, Nairobi.
In the opening set, Rwanda led 19-13 but the Kenyans bounced back with strong services, defence, blocks and attacks to win the set 25-23 in front of their chanting supporters.
But Paul Bitok's team won the second set 25-23 thanks to improvement in service and attacks. In the third set, Kenya started strongly and took a 8-4 lead with strong services and attacks and eventually took the set 25-19. And then the hosts sealed the match with a 25-20 win in the fourth set, which saw them qualify for next year’s world championships.
Kenya joined Egypt, who defeated Botswana 3-0 in the day’s other match, to end the week-long tournament unbeaten. The two countries will represent Africa at next year’s FIVB World Championships in Slovenia.
Rwanda finished in third place after beating Botswana and Senegal – and losing to Egypt and Kenya – while Botswana finished fourth with Senegal finishing fifth without winning a single game.
Rwanda’s last match against Kenya was watched by, among others, Rwanda’s Ambassador to Kenya, James Kimonyo, and several Rwandans living in Nairobi, including Gor Mahia stars Jacques Tuyisenge, Abouba Sibomana and Karim 'Mackenzie' Nizigiyimana.
The team is expected to arrive back in the country later today aboard a RwandAir flight.