Nairobi, Kenya, September 15, 2004 - A well drilled Morocco side put up a sparkling performance to hammer hosts Kenya 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-18) in Group A of the 11th African Nations Championships Junior Men Volleyball Tournament at Moi International Sports Centre indoor gymnasium on Wednesday.
In Group B, title favorites Tunisia maintained their winning form when they beat Botswana 3-0 (25-16, 25-4, 25-12) while defending champions Egypt atoned for their lose to Tunisia in their opening match when they beat Uganda 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-14).
Morocco beat Kenya
After making a flying start with a 3-0 victory over Sudan in their opening match on Tuesday, hosts Kenya found the going rough when they lost to Morocco in straight sets in their second match on Wednesday.
Following their defeat of Sudan on Tuesday, Kenya will hope that Morocco beats Sudan to enable them to progress through to the semifinals where they will have to beat Tunisia on Saturday.
A place in the finals will provide an automatic place in the 2005 Junior World Championships set for India since the world volleyball governing body, the FIVB has given Africa two slots at the world junior event.
Should Sudan beat Morocco then the pool will be wide open which will force the organizers to determine the winner and runners-up by sets in view of the fact that all the three teams will have won a match and lost a match each.
In Wednesday's match the tall Moroccans completely outplayed the Kenyans from the opening set. The North Africans covered well at the net coupled with some powerful and accurate spiking where Essedyq Hicham, Waddane Mohammed and Lankadui Amine were outstanding.
In the second set Kenya, led by captain Hosea Melly and John Ndung'u, played their hearts out but their efforts were not enough to stop the Moroccans from winning the set, much to the disbelief of Kenyans fans that cheered their team throughout.
Come the third set, Kenya started well winning two quick points and just when everybody thought they would make a dramatic fight back, the Moroccans found their rhythm and went on to finish the match.
Tunisia continue winning performance
Title favorites Tunisia sent warning signals that they were out to dethrone Egypt when they outplayed Botswana to win their second match in straight sets.
The loss means that Botswana, who were beaten 3-0 by Uganda on Tuesday, has bowed out of this year's tournament which has brought together seven teams.
Botswana trailed throughout the three sets as the North Africans proved to be superior in all departments and it was not a surprise when they went on to clinch the first set.
Poor reception and coordination at the net cost Botswana dearly as Tunisia tormented them at will which saw the North Africans easily clinch the second set and there was no stopping them in the third and last set.
Apart from Tunisia who have won two from two, Morocco, who opened with a win against hosts Kenya, are among the title favorites along with defending champions Egypt who lost their opening match 0-3 to Tunisia.
Egypt regain rhythm
Defending champions Egypt recovered from their 0-3 lose to Tunisia in their opening match when they put up a spirited performance to beat Uganda in straight sets.
Having lost to Tunisia in their opening match, Egypt played like real champions against Uganda as they gave the East African nation no time to settle in the first set with their attackers playing a wonderful game.
The North Africans relaxed in the second set allowing Uganda to come back in the game, however Egypt still managed to win the second set before claiming the third.