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Agala, Wanja dropped from Kenya volleyball squad

Captain Brackides Agala and her assistant Janet Wanja are the notable exclusions from the provisional national women volleyball team that will compete at the forthcoming Olympic Games qualifiers.

The African Queens are expected to commence training immediately ahead of  this assignment which will be held in Cameroon in February 2016.

Team coach Japheth Munala, who only recently replaced veteran David Lung’aho, explained the changes to Nairobi News.

“We have opted to select some players who impressed both at the African Games and in the league. A young crop of players means a few others must give way. This is the cycle,” Munala, who helped his team Kenya Pipeline win the Kenya Volleyball league title last weekend, said.

The 26 players called up to the squad will commence preparations immediately, according to Kenya Volleyball Federation Chairman Waithaka Kioni.

The absence of Agala, who plies her trade in France and Kenya Pipeline captain Wanja could mark the end of an era in the team. The two players have been part of the national team’s repeated continental success over the last decade.

Youngsters Esther Simiyu, Joan Chelagat, Naomi Too, Ann Lowem and Edith Wisa are among the new faces in the team.

The African Queens will be gunning to snatch the single continental berth to the Olympic Games having missed out in the 2012 London Games, where Algeria represented Africa.

The team in camp:

Noel Murambi, Monica Biama, Triza Atuka, Ruth Chelagat, Gaudencia Makokha, Violet Makuto, Leonida Kasaya, Agripina Kundu, Veronica Tanui, Esther Wangeci, Mercy Moim, Edith Wisa, Ann Lowem, Joy Luseneka, Elizabeth Wanyama, Shyrine Jepkemoi, Loice Taurus, Lydia Maiyo, Jane Wacu, Edna Muombe, Joan Chelagat, Valentine Koech, Naomi Too, Esther Simiyu and Eva Mbone