Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, November 12, 2014 - Tunisia won the first ever Men's U23 African Nations Championship title following their victory over hosts Egypt 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21) in the final of the competition held at Youth City Hall in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on Wednesday.
Algeria won the bronze medals despite losing to an outstanding Libyan team 3-2 (27-29, 25-22, 26-28, 25-22, 15-9). Algeria dropped to a win-loss ratio of 2-3 with 7 points, while Libya improved their win-loss ratio to 2-3 and 5 points to finish in fourth position.
Morocco also beat Rwanda 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 25-18) to remain in sixth and last position with a 1-4 record. Rwanda finished in fifth position with the same win-loss ratio, but with a better set quotient.
After the matches, FIVB Executive Vice President and CAVB President Dr. Amr Elwani, accompanied by the South Sinai Governor General Mr Khalid Foda and Egyptian Volleyball Federation President Mr Foad Abdelsalam, honoured the Tunisian team with the gold medals and the cup. Egypt received the silver medals and Algeria the bronze.
Tunisia v Egypt 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21)
Tunisia flew past Egypt 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21) in the final of the competition to claim the first ever title for this age category.
Tunisia dominated the match with their superior spiking and blocking and maintained a stable level of play throughout the match.
Egypt led at the beginning of the first set through spikes by Marawan Salah from position 4 and the quick attacks of Mohamed Adel, and were up 8-6 at the first TTO. Although the Tunisian blockers worked well, Egypt were able to penetrate the Tunisian block and lead 16-14. Tunisian setter Khalid Ben Slimane, however, then won five consecutive points to help his team decrease the point deficit and win the set 25-19.
The Egyptian players committed a lot of mistakes in the second set especially in reception, allowing the Tunisian team to lead frequently. Oueslati played his best from position 2 to penetrate the Egyptian block and win the set 25-22.
Egypt fought back in the third set to save the match, with spike serves by Mohamed Said and quick attacks from Mohamed Adel. They claimed the set 25-23 despite Tunisia's efforts to resist an Egyptian comeback.
In the fourth set, however, Tunisia regained their rhythm, using outside hitter Malek Chekir and quick attacks through the centres to finish the job and win the set 25-21.
Algeria v Libya 3-2 (27-29, 25-22, 26-28, 25-22, 15-9)
Libya fought for 131 minutes to clinch a tough 3-2 (27-29, 25-22, 26-28, 25-22, 15-9) win over Algeria in the tournament's only tiebreaker.
Libyan outside hitter Alamin Al Saghir led the Libyan scorers with 22 points, including 2 aces and 6 kill blocks, followed by Ahmed Omran with 17 points. Algeria's Ould Chechali led his team's scorers with 22 points, including 5 blocks, followed by Amar Harz on 19 points.
It was the Libyan team's high level of enthusiasm which made the difference in the end, after a match where both teams achieved similar results in their skill statistics.
The match saw the Libyan team play their best match in the tournament, in what was one of the most exciting matches in the competition. Algeria started by dominating the net action through their attackers. They won the first set 29-27 after Libya came back from five points behind to draw 24-24. Algerian spiker Harz scored the crucial points on the way to winning the set 29-27.
Libya rebounded quickly in the second set and used the spikes of Omran and the blocks of Al Saghir and Mohamed Al Ghoul to win the set 25-22 and to recover emotionally.
Again, the third set was very tight with the Libyan team leading before Algeria bounced back to win narrowly 28-26.
Libya overwhelmed their opponents in the fourth set, with their stars Al Saghir and Omran playing their best to win the fourth set 25-22 and the tiebreak 15-9.
Morocco v Rwanda 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 25-18)
Morocco ended their campaign with a victory over Rwanda 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 25-18), but were not able to improve on their position at the bottom of the ranking as both teams shared level win-loss ratios of 1-4, with 3 points, and Rwanda enjoyed a superior set ratio (4/12 for Rwanda and 4/13 for Morocco)
Morocco started the match with more concentration and succeeded through their stable reception and backline defence to set up attacks through Zohair El Garaoui and Farah Razani to win the first set 25-17.
Rwanda rebounded in the second set as they improved their serves and combination work, led by setter Bonny Mutabazi, to win 25-21 and bring the score to 1-1.
Again El Garaoui led Morocco to win the third set 25-20 despite the Rwandan team's efforts, especially after the second TTO. Morocco won the fourth set easily and took the match by 3-1.
• Best Spiker: Adam Oueslati (Tunisia)
• Best Blocker: Mohamed Adel (Egypt)
• Best Server: Ahmed Said (Egypt)
• Best Setter: Khalid Ben Slimane (Tunisia)
• Best Receiver: Larbi Hedroug (Algeria)
• Best Libero: Peter Bigirimana (Rwanda)
• MVP: Elias Garfi (Tunisia)