The Nigerian junior women's volleyball team on Wednesday were trashed 3-1 by Algeria in the opening match of the 14th African Nations Junior Women Volleyball Championship in Abuja.
The more experienced Algerians dominated the most part of the game, showing unrivalled technical abilities above their Nigerian counterparts.
The Nigerian side trailed behind for long periods in the first set which they lost 23-25, but they had rallied for a comeback in the second set to win 27-25 and draw level.
With that, the Algerians improved their game and opened a wide lead in the third set to win 25-16, and they maintained their lead with a commanding dominance in the fourth set for a 25-21 win.
The Nigerians, though, had the raw talents, were nothing close to the tall and young Algerian girls.
They will now rally to edge Egypt in the second game on Thursday [today] to ensure a second place finish that will guarantee a world cup slot.
Head Coach of the Algerian side, Saidani Aimaid said his team was far better than their opponents through out the four set.
"We played against a good team but we are better. My girls are young and talented. They also have great experience because they have participated in several championships."
The 18-year old star player of the Algerian team, Belhocine Sarra said they were gunning for the top spot.
"We are here to win the championship. We have what it takes to be champions."
The championship, which is an under-19 event is a qualifier for the 17th Women’s Under-20 World Championship.
The three-day African championship had kicked off on Wednesday with three teams from Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt, instead of the seven teams expected to participate.
The other countries whose teams were not present are Tunisia, Kenya, Rwanda and Congo Democratic Republic.
The championship continues on Thursday with Nigeria taking on Egypt in the second match, while Algeria will face Egypt on Friday to round off the competition.
The first two teams in the competition will qualify for the World Championship scheduled for June 21 to June 30 in Brno, the Czech Republic.