Botswana’s hopes of doing well at this year’s CAVB Women’s Africa Cup of Nations have been dashed following a poor showing by the local side throughout the competition in the absence of the head coach Kabo Ntshinogang.
Ntshinogang did not travel with the team due to work commitments.
However assistant coaches Makgetla Gareanna and Tshepo Molosiwa held the fort in his absence. The tournament, which started on 9th of July and expected to end on July 14, is held in Cairo, Egypt. Having attracted powerhouses in the likes of Algeria, Cameroon, Kenya and hosts Egypt the tournament was always going to be a mountain to climb for Team Botswana considering that they are lowest ranked team in the competition.
Having drawn in pool B together with Cameroon, Kenya and Algeria, Botswana has been having it tough. They have lost all their games so far; claiming only one set against Algeria. The result means the local girls have failed to advance to the knockout stages.
Following an impressive showing during the zonal All Africa games qualifiers in Mozambique last month, hopes were high that the team will improve their standing in the continental competition. Even though Botswana has underlined supremacy in the southern African region, they have never been successful in attempts to compete for top honours at continental level.
“Our weakest area is blocking as well as defence. We are playing very tall people who are good at attack so since we are using new setters who are inexperienced they cannot handle such high level matches. So going forward those are the departments we will work on to improve more especially when heading to All Africa games which is surely tough. Nonetheless most of the players have improved in attack and service but there is a need to consider new players to increase the team’s depth,” said coach Gareanna.
During the same competition in Cameroon in 2017, Botswana finished on position eight out of eight teams. The men’s team is also expected to leave the country on the 18th of July for the Africa Cup from the 20th-30th still in Egypt.