Nigeria lost 2-3 (16-25, 18-25, 25-23, 26-24, 6-15) to Algeria in their last group stage match at the multipurpose sports hall on Sunday, and will face vice champions Kenya in the quarterfinals of the 2023 African Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The West Africans recorded two wins against Mali and Burundi as well as three losses in the hands of Cameroon, Egypt, and Algeria in the group stage.
The head coach of Nigeria women’s volleyball team, Samuel Ajayi said losing the fifth set to Algeria was painful after mounting a comeback from 0-2 down in the first two sets to draw level at 2-2.
Ajayi said all attention will be shifted to the quarterfinals of the championship as Nigeria faces the silver medallists at the 2019 African Championship in Rwanda.
“I am not happy with our loss against Algeria in the last group stage match. My players were not impressive in the first and second sets but got their rhythm in the third and fourth sets. I expected my players to win their fifth set but we made too many errors allowing the Algerians to take the first four points.”
“All attention has been shifted to the quarterfinals and we are playing one of the best teams in the championship. Kenya was unbeaten in their group-stage matches and are very experienced with proper exposure.
“Nigeria will not respect Kenya on the court when both teams meet on Tuesday; this might be our chance to make a huge statement in the championship.
Up next is the Quarter Finals on Tuesday. Nigeria is set to face an uphill task in an unbeaten Kenyan side, that topped Pool B winning all 5 games played in the group, with a maximum of 15 points as well.