Volleyball: Women’s U-20 team off to Kenya for continental tourney

Players of the national U20 women's team show off with the Rwandan flag after their last training session at Amahoro Indoor Stadium on Wednesday. Damas Sikubwabo

The national under-20 women volleyball team departed for Nairobi last night aboard a RwandAir flight, ahead of the African Women’s U20 Championship set for August 26-September 2.

Eight countries, including Rwanda, will be vying for three tickets to represent the continent at the 2019 FIVB U20 World Cup. Other teams at the tournament include; Kenya, holders Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda.

According to head coach Christophe Mudahinyuka, the ladies have had enough time to train together and he is confident they will put up an inspiring showing to emerge among the top three despite all making their debut appearance in African Championships.

Rwanda will be marking her maiden appearance in the African women’s championship at the Under-20 level.

“The target is to finish in top three and it is achievable. The ladies also had friendly and competitive matches in FEASSSA Games last week, which I believe was a crucial boost,” Mudahinyuka told Times Sport yesterday.

In a separate interview, skipper Valentine Munezero also expressed confidence to represent the country – well.

Egypt won the last edition in 2017 after beating Tunisia in the playoffs 3-0 and 3-1.

After Algeria won the inaugural edition in 2002, hosted by Tunisia, Egypt went on to lift the title for the seventh consecutive time.

The competition will also double as qualifiers for the 2019 FIVB World U20 Women’s Championship – whose host nation is yet to be determined.

Full squad

Judith Kabatesi, Fillette Uzamukunda, Iris Ndagijimana, Charlotte Mushimiyimana, Hyacente Ingabire, Olive Nzamukosha, Clementine Kayitesi, Penelope Musabyimana, Francoise Yankurije, Valentine Munezero, Albertine Uwiringiyimana, Dothana Musabyemariya, Kellia Umutoni, and Zulfath Teta.