Nigeria’s U19 male Volleyball team retained their title as Champions of Africa after beating Morocco 3-0 (25-8, 25-21, 25-23) at the just concluded 2021 African Nations Volleyball Championship in Abuja on Monday.
The Nigerian team was unstoppable in the first set as they cruised past the Moroccans in the opening minutes as fantastic combination of the setters and spikers saw Nigeria pummel Morocco by 25-8 points.
The second set produced interesting rallies, blocks and spikes from both teams, but the West Africans took the set by 25-21 points. Nigeria came into the 3rd set in a dominant fashion, killing it 8-1 at the first technical timeout. Morocco effected a substitution to foil the Nigerian attack, little late for the North Africans as Nigeria won by 25-23 points.
Commenting on their title victory, Head Coach of the Nigerian team, Sani Mohammed revealed that his players were able to adjust their style of play and changed the game against Morocco.
“This is the first time any of these boys will be partaking in any international tournament; they were able to adjust their style of game after their victory over Gambia and you all saw the result against Morocco”, he said.
Looking ahead, he went on to appeal for early preparations of his wards for the forthcoming World Youth Championship in Iran: “I am appealing to the Nigeria Volleyball Federation to put us in camp for a minimum of four months before the World Championship in Iran. We had a successful camping before the Nations Championship, and I am certain we will get the best ahead of the world tournament. I will love the players to be in camp at least four months before the World Championship.”
On his part, President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod commended all the participating teams, stressing that the game of Volleyball is developing rapidly in Africa, notably at the age grade level.
Nigeria finished as top ranked team and Cameroon followed as the runners up. Both countries have now earned qualification to the 2021 FIVB U19 World Championship in Iran.
Meanwhile Cameroon emerged champions in the Girls’ U18 event.
Under-19 Boys individual awards
Best Server: Pascal Ozokonye (Nigeria), Best Reception: Mohammed Reda (Morocco), Best Blocker: Sheikh Colley (Gambia), Best Spiker: Ousseni Isa (Cameroon), Best Digger: Lawal Babatunde (Nigeria), Best Setter: Jeremiah Alexander (Nigeria) and MVP: Kavogo Yaoussia (Cameroon)
U18 Girls individual awards
MVP: Fasso Nguemtchueng (Cameroon), Best Blocker: Blessing Unekwe (Nigeria), Best Setter: Elezabilah Leititia (Cameroon), Best Digger: Nqbyong Laure (Cameroon), Best Reception: Omoshola Sofiat (Nigeria), Best Server: Bedian Mpson (Cameroon) and Best Spiker: Thombeso Iohejoan (Cameroon)