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Coach Omondi’s volleyball squad remains intact

National men’s volleyball team coach Geoffrey Omondi says he will retain a bulk of the squad that failed to qualify for the All Africa Games earlier this week.

Kenya lost the sole qualification berth available in Zone V to hosts Rwanda in dramatic style on Monday, thanks to a 3-2 sets loss of 17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-27 and 15-7 in the deciding match.

The team, which comfortably beat Uganda and Burundi in the same competition, was expected back in the country on Thursday evening.

“The likes of Hudson Wanyama, Sila Kipruto and Rodgers Maiyo have impressed me and thus cemented their places in the team. I will again rely on them in the Africa Cup of Nations and Olympic Games qualifiers later this year,” Omondi said.


The absence of the team’s most experienced player and captain Phillip Maiyo alongside below par preparations were cited as some of the reasons for the team’s failure to qualify for the continental event.

The Qatar-based Maiyo kept changing his travel itinerary to Kigali for this assignment citing club commitments until he was time barred.

One version of events suggested that the player fell for the “mind games” of Rwanda coach Paul Bitok.

“His presence would certainly have made a big difference especially against Rwanda in the deciding set. But we cannot keep discussing that. I guess we need start looking for other Maiyos” Omondi said.

The other suggestion is that Kenya lost to a better side that had prepared well for the event. The Rwandan team toured Cameroon for friendly matches in readiness for the competition.