Egypt and Algeria score opening day victories at Girls Youth African Championship
Egypt beat Tunisia in straight sets (25-13, 25-16, 25-16) in 64 minutes while Algeria regained their rhythm to overcome Rwanda 3-1 (25-18, 25-15, 15-25, 25-19) in a tough encounter lasting 91 minutes.
The competition opened in the presence of Dr Amr Elwani (CAVB President), Idriss Dokony (CC President and CAVB vice-president), Alaa Gabr (Olympic Committee representative), Abdelmajeed Djirad (Referee Delegate), Jappie Mango (SOC Delegate), Ali El Sergani (Egyptian Volleyball Federation President), Abdel Hamid Elwassimy (Local Organizing Committee President) and Howyda Mondy (CAVB Technical Director).
Algeria had to fight hard to get past Rwanda. The Algerians moved effortlessly into a 2-0 lead, but Rwanda responded aggressively after improving their defence and spike service, to take the third set. They were also leading in the fourth set before spiker Yasmine Abdelrahim led her team to victory.
"We owe this win to our spiker Yasmine Abdelrahim," Algeria coach Kamel Rabia said after the match. "We didn't prepare well as we played only a few friendly matches against the junior team, who qualified early for the World Championship last week in Nigeria."
Rwanda coach Paul Bitok attributed defeat to a lack of experience and his team’s weak reception, which deprived them of using their attacking strategy. "We played well in the third set and were leading in the fourth set before losing narrowly at the end,” he said. “We now have to concentrate on the two remaining matches against Egypt and Tunisia to qualify for the World Championship."
Egypt surprised neighbours Tunisia with efficient spike services as well as a tight block to win the one-sided game 3-0. The Egyptian girls started the match aggressively with their strong spike service along with good blocking by Haidi Kandiel and Aya Khalid. The Tunisian players were put on the defensive and were unable to come back into the match.
The competition will resume on Tuesday with Algeria against Tunisia and Egypt against Rwanda.