Agadir — Kenya women's beach volleyball teams dug deep to win against Cape Verde 2-0 (21-13,21-17) in the golden match Tuesday as the FIVB Continental Cup cum Olympic qualifiers served off.
The pair of Gaudencia Makokha and Brackcides Agala, which forms Kenya Team One, won against Cape Verde Team Two pair of sisters Ludmila and Janice Varela 2-1(21-17,17-21,15-9).
Kenya Team Two pair of Phoscah Kasisi and Yvonne Wavinya fell to Cape Verde Team One consisting of Marly and Zina 2-1(21-9,14-21,15-13) to set up a golden match. Golden match is staged to break the tie between the countries.
The two countries had each five points prior to the golden match after a win-loss ratio. In the golden match, the countries get to chose their best two players from the four.
Kenya women's coach Sammy Mulinge picked Makokha and Agala, while Cape Verde had sisters Ludmila and Janice.
Kenya was the better side in all the sets with Agala and Makokha capitalising on the sluggish Cape Verde, who took time to settle.
Agala's back court prowess came into play as she easily picked balls to set up Makokha, who made easy scores as Kenya led 8-3, 16-10, before winning the set 21-13.
Cape Verde improved in the second set, but their effort was not good enough as they still trailed Kenya 6-10, 15-11. Ludmila bagged two quick points with her good services, but the Kenyan pair held on to the lead to eventually carry the day.
Coach Mulinge said they can only get better as the event gathers momentum.
Kenya women's team play Nigeria on Wednesday, while their men's counterparts battle Mali.
The women's team are in pool 'B' together with Democratic Republic of Congo, Cape Verde and Nigeria, while pool 'A' has Morocco, Rwanda, Gambia and Sudan. The top three teams from the two pools will proceed to the final phase.
Earlier, Kenya men's teams failed to go past Nigeria in their opening pool 'B', losing the golden match 2-1(13-21,21-19,13-15). Kenya men's teams are in pool 'B' alongside Mali, Mozambique and Nigeria.
The top two teams from each pool will compete in the final round. Pool 'A' has Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan, while Pool 'C' has Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and Congo Brazaville. Gambia headline pool 'D' that has Rwanda,Togo and DRC.