Kenya women volleyball team on Thursday opened their campaign on winning note by beating Seychelles in straight sets of 25-15, 25-21, 25-23 as the African Olympics qualifiers started in Blida, Algeria.

Hosts and African Championship runner-up Algeria pulled off a stunning victory over North African rivals Egypt claiming a 3-1 performance (25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-20) in the opening day of the competition.

Kenya were scheduled to play Egypt while Algeria was meant to meet Seychelles last evening.

In the first match, Algeria supported by the home crowd overwhelmed the net action in most of the match events except the second set when Egypt improved relatively their block.

The second match showed complete Kenyan dominance due to their experienced players as most of them were in the squad that won last year’s African Nations Championship and represented the continent in the 2011 FIVB World Cup.

The competition features four teams competing for a slot at the London 2012 Olympic Games with winner qualifying to the Olympics.

The program ends today with Kenya taking on Algeria in what is rated as the climax of the tournament while Egypt entertains Seychelles. The match between Kenya and Algeria is expected to be a thriller due to the ever-rising rivalry between the two sides.

Meanwhile, Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) first vice chairman Charles Nyaberi has expressed optimism that the national team will overcome Algeria when the two bitter rivals clash today.

“I have a very good feeling about this particular match. The team is a perfect blend of experience and determined new young, raw talent,” he said.

By Oscar Pilipili, The Standard

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