Nigeria defeated Cameroon to qualify for the final of the 2023 Girls U17 African Nations Volleyball Championship in Abuja.
Nigeria on Wednesday evening defeated Cameroon 3-1 (27-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-19) in the semi final played at the package B of the Moshood Abiola Stadium.
The head coach of Nigeria U17 Girls, Sunday Akapson said his side will not be carried away with the victory against Cameroon.
The 2003 All African Games silver medallist revealed that the players played according to the instructions of the technical crew.
Akapson thanked supporters of volleyball for coming around to cheer the team to victory.
He said, “I am very excited and very fulfilled but we are not there yet. I do not want to get carried away with the excitement and forget the target today (Thursday) because we need to finish the race.
“One of the best things we did during the match against Cameroon was boosting the morale of the players. When we were trailing behind Cameroon in the third set, the young setter was shedding tears but I had to encourage her and we won the third set.
“During the second set, the girls could not withstand the pressure because they are still young but when they got to the bench, the coaches told them they have the ability, capabilities, strength and the skills to win every other set. I am proud that the young girls went into the game and won the third and fourth set. Motivation is very key and I am happy it worked for my team”.
He praised the captain of the team, Mirabel Onyegwu for exhibiting her leadership qualities on the court against Cameroon.
Akapson said, “The Captain, Mirabel Onyegwu was on fire in the last two sets against Cameroon. The entire team did very well to win the game for the volleyball community in Nigeria”.
The former Captain of Nigeria Customs Service men’s team vowed to give the Egyptian team a good fight during the final tomorrow (Thursday).
He said, “Ahead of the finals, we lost the group stage to Egypt and we are going to give them a good fight. It is not going to be an easy game for the Egyptians. This is the first time a Nigerian underage team will be doing this and I tell you that we are going to improve in the final.
“This is just the starting point for these girls. They have a promising future because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said to prepare any Olympic athletes takes at least ten years; these sets of players are below 17 years”.
The captain of Nigeria U17 Girls team, Mirabel Onyegwu was adjudged the Most Outstanding Player in the semifinal.
Nigeria will face Egypt at 4pm on Thursday.