The Nigeria volleyball women’s team has won her first match at the ongoing 2019 Snow Volleyball championship in Argentina, defeating host nation 2-1 (13-15, 15-11, 15-11) on Friday in their first ever appearance.
The competition, which is organized by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), has teams from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, the United States and more taking part in both men and women events.
Although Nigeria is ranked 85th on the last FIVB senior world rankings for women, officials of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) are positive the athletes will make a meaningful impact in Argentina, just as they did at the World Beach Volleyball Championships in Germany.
Nigeria players consist of Beach volleyball players such as Tochukwu Nnoruga, Francisca Ikhiede, 2015 All Africa Games Beach volleyball gold medallist, Isabella Langu and Amara Uchechukwu.
“We found out about Snow Volleyball when the stages in Europe were played”, explains Eyetsonetan.
“We watched some games via FIVB channels and enjoyed it so much. That was when we decided we wanted to be part of it.”
The four of them know each other from representing Nigeria at the other variations of the sport, as they played both indoor and beach volleyball before. After smiling about this fact, Ikhiede adds: “There’s glamour in this sport. We found it very, very interesting from the first time we watched it.”
“We decided all together to come here”, she adds. “It was a collective decision; we wished to be here very bad.”
When asked about their goals, something sparks in their eyes. “We are here to win”, stresses Eyetsonetan.
Teammate Ikhiede agrees: “No player comes to a competition for losing. We want to win! We want to make our country proud and ourselves proud by winning at this tournament.”
The 3rd and final stage of the tour started on Friday and will end today in Bariloche, Argentina