Kenya Defence Forces setter Veronica Tanui is ready to stake a claim for a place in the senior national women’s volleyball team.
Tanui joined KDF from rivals KCB Ladies Volleyball team midway through the 2018 season after landing a job with the forces.
“I have been out of action for the whole of last year undergoing KDF training. But now that I’m back, I hope my presence will be felt. I played my first match for KDF during the first leg of the Kenya Volleyball Federation in Nyeri in February and if my performance was anything to go by then really I haven’t lost the touch. It’s just tightening the loose ends and I will be good to go,” said the 24-year-old.
“Previously I have played in the age category events but I haven’t competed in the senior team and I believe the chance is there but I will have to work hard to earn. I was looking forward to building on my form in the national league but the season was suspended last month and I hope normalcy returns so that I can pick from where I left.”
The former Mautuma Secondary School alumnus was part of the Kenya Under -23 women’s team that featured in the 2017 World Championships in Ljubljana and Maribor, Slovenia.
Kenya finished last in the 12-nation tournament won by Turkey.
Tanui was also drafted into the provisional squad for the senior national team during the 2017 African Nations Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon but was overlooked as regulars Janet Wanja and Jane Wacu made the cut.
Kenya succumbed to growing rivals Cameroon 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 29-27) in the final.
KDF coach Elisha Aliwa observed that Tanui had all the qualities of a good setter.
“She is destined for greatness. She is young but oozes maturity when it comes to playing. She has the height, good blocks, backcourt coverage, and flexible finger works and therefore I will not be shocked when she becomes a mainstay in the national team soon,” said Aliwa, who is also a former national team setter.
“Tanui is the only setter we have in the club and that in away will build her confidence and make her grow a thick skin.”
Tanui will have to fight her way into the books of the Malkia Strikers technical bench, with Wacu, Joy Lusenaka and fast-rising Esther Mutinda already ahead of her in the pecking order.