Key battles in Kenya v Cameroon clash

Edith Wisa

Kenya's Edith Wisa (left) leads her team mates in celebration during their FIVB World Championships Pool A match against Netherlands at Gelredome arena in Arnhem, Netherlands on September 23, 2022.

Photo credit: Samuel Gacharira | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenya will however be banking on the experienced Edith Wisa to stop her. Unlike Olomo who is debuting at the World Championships, Wisa is in her second appearance.
  • The 28-year-old has nine points (5 kills, 4 blocks) to her name and coach Luizomar will rely on her to stabilize his defence at the net which has been shaky so far.

In Arnhem, Netherlands

Kenya renews rivalry with Cameroon in their third Pool ‘A’ match of the ongoing FIVB World Championships Tuesday night.

It will be the first meeting between these two sides this year, who last met in September at the 2021 Africa Nations Championships in Rwanda, where Cameroon beat Kenya 3-1 in the final to claim their third consecutive title.

Both sides are without a point after two consecutive 3-0 losses. Kenya have lost to Netherlands and Belgium, while Cameroon have gone down to Italy and the hosts.

Malkia Strikers will be looking to preserve their unbeaten record at a global competition against Cameroon as coach Luizomar de Moura seeks his first win in this year’s edition.

Cameroon are knee deep in a rebuilding process following the retirement of three key players Stephanie Fotso, Chrsitelle Nana and Laetitia Moma.

Coach Jean Rene Akono will certainly be looking forward to receiving the stamp of approval tonight here at the Gelredome arena in Arnhem with victory over perennial rivals.

Here, Nation Sports analyses the key battles of this clash:

Emmaculate Nekesa v Yolande Amana

This will be the first real test for the two setters in this competition.

Yolande Amana, 25, is the more experienced of the two having graced the 2018 edition in Japan where she was being prepared to take over from Henriette Koulla.

The 19-year-old Emmaculate Nekesa has been thrown into the deep end, immediately taking over from Jane Wacu as Kenya’s number one setter.

Whoever settles into the game early and makes the right decisions in her distribution will definitely dictate the tempo of the game and swing the pendulum in her team’s favour.

Amana’s height has always given her an edge but she is often criticized for panicking at crucial moments of the game.

It will be interesting to see whether Amana finally confirms her place among setting royalty in Africa or the inexperienced Nekesa will announce herself as the heir to the throne following the retirement of Koulla and Wacu.

Mercy Moim v Simone Bikatal

In their third appearance at the World Championships, both Mercy Moim and Simone Bikatal will be relied upon to provide leadership for their teams.

While Moim is used to the captaincy role, Bikatal is new to it having been elevated to the role this year following the retirement of Christelle Nana.

And she has hit the ground running having recorded 14 points (12 kills, 2 blocks) in their opening two games against Italy and Netherlands.

Given Cameroon’s other outside hitter, Brandy Gatcheu is inexperienced, Bikatal will shoulder the bigger responsibility in reception.

Moim, on the other hand, has eight points so far, all coming from attack but her biggest responsibility on Tuesday night will also be in reception.

Sharon Chepchumba v Estelle Adiana

Reception has been a big challenge for both teams in both matches they have played so far which means they often turn to their opposites to bail them out in attack especially when playing out of system.

It’s therefore not a coincidence that the pair are top scorers for their teams so far. Both Sharon Chepchumba and Estelle Adiana are making their second appearance at the World Championships.

Chepchumba, 23, has scored 20 points (19 kills, one block) with 13 of those coming against Belgium in their last match.

She heads into this game with better form and so does Adiana, who despite being played in an unusual position, emerged top scorer  for Cameroon with 12 points against the hosts.

The 25-year-old is a natural outside hitter but has seamlessly settled in at opposite, if her performance against Netherlands as a substitute last Sunday is anything to go by.

She showed a different side of her game scoring two aces against the hosts through jump serves and coach Akono can only pray she replicates this performance against Kenya.

Edith Wisa v Paule Olomo

Despite being one of the new faces in the Cameroon team, Paule Olomo has had a bright start to the competition.

She emerged the best blocker in the Netherlands game with five stuff block and is the second best scorer overall for Cameroon so far with 12 points (6 kills, 6 blocks).

The 21-year-old can attack and block which makes her an efficient middle blocker who could cause problems for Kenya since she is barely known.

Kenya will however be banking on the experienced Edith Wisa to stop her. Unlike Olomo who is debuting at the World Championships, Wisa is in her second appearance.

The 28-year-old has nine points (5 kills, 4 blocks) to her name and coach Luizomar will rely on her to stabilize his defence at the net which has been shaky so far.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.