Kenya national women volleyball team Malkia Strikers bid for a World Cup win still continues after they lost in straight sets of 20-25,17-25, 14-25 to Brazil yesterday.
Even though the Kenyans gave a good account of themselves in the match against the South Americans, it was still not enough to even get them the first set of the tournament played across a number of cities in Japan.
In the match yesterday at Hamamatsu, coach Paul Bitok had his charges going toe to toe with the former Olympic champions and the good start made the Brazilians make a number of mistakes which gave the Kenyans hope.
Captain Mercy Moim, who was the top scorer for Malkia Strikers with nine points, used her experience well in attack and also defence to ensure they repelled the Brazilians early on the in the match.
However, despite a close score of 2-2, 2-3, the South Americans opened a gap of 3-8 in the first technical time out, but the Kenyans were not about to go down without a fight as they recovered from 4-10 to 11-14.
The set became a see-saw affair even though when the Brazilians looked to be in trouble, they used their experience at this level to repel the Kenyans and finally win the set 25-20.
Bitok had gone with a starting lineup of Moim, Janet Wanja, Violet Makuto, Trizah Atuka, Noel Murambi and Edith Mukuvilani with Agripina Kundu as the libero.
The team managed to contribute a total attack score of 15 compared to Brazil’s 16, but they were let down by many errors.
At the end of the set, the Kenyans had two successful blocks but had committed a total of seven errors in the set that took 29 minutes.
Bitok was forced to twitch his line up in the second set with Jane Wacu coming in for Wanja and Sharon Chepchumba for Makuto.
The changes seemed to have helped Kenyans take the match to the highly experienced Brazilians, but once again the Kenyans made a number of errors which ended up giving the South Americans a big lead.
Despite a late fightback, Malkia Strikers could not get the better of the Brazilians.