Kenya concluded the three-week Tour of Japan with a victory against Cameroon to finish 11 out of 12 nations in the FIVB women’s World Cup.
This was Kenya’s first win in 11 matches and the feat saw them rake in 10 FIVB ranking points. Cameroon placed 12th after bagging a paltry five points from their final match against African counterparts.
As of October last year, Kenya were ranked 20th in the world with 37 points while Cameroon were 17th with 47. Yesterday’s performance saw Kenya increase their point tally to 47 with Cameroon still ahead of them with five points. Algeria are the third Africa nation on the log but 3oth in the world with 16 points.
Kenya’s 3-1 victory against the Central Africans yesterday threw the girls into a celebration of sorts as they engaged in song and dance for a long spell.
Team captain Mercy Moim said the victory confirmed that Kenyans, also known as Malkia Strikers, are the African powerhouse.
” This victory is very important for us because it has an impact on the country’s rankings. It also served as a reminder to Cameroon that Kenyans are still Africa‘s best,” noted the outside hitter. This was the two countries’ fifth encounter in four months with Kenya having defeated Cameroon four times.
Moim top-scored for Kenya with 19 points after garnering 15 from attacks, three off blocks and an ace. The fast-rising Sharon Chepchumba, middle blockers Triza Atuka and Edith Wisa poured in 18, 12 and 10 points respectively. Cameroon’s captain Christelle Nana had a game high of 23 points.
Malkia Strikers started the game on a high note, disenchanting Cameroon with a 25-15 beating in the opening set. Cameroon regrouped in the second period and pushed close, but fell short, posting 26-24.
Paul Bitok’s charges resumed play in the third set on a wrong footing and completely failed to regain momentum, losing 25-14. Determined to register a win, the former African champions took charge of proceedings in the fourth set and did not disappoint. They reduced the reigning continental champions to playing catch-up from start to end as they won the set 25-21 to seal the 3-1 victory.
“The game was tight and I commend the team for delivering on the day. Our strong serves and attacks saved the blushes,” the skipper pointed out.
Kenya won with a difference of five points (90-85). Malkia raked in 58 from attacks with rivals registering 50. Cameroon had 12 points from blocks against Kenya’s 10 and the two sides recorded two aces apiece. There were a total of 41 points from errors with the losers benefiting from Kenya’s 21 mistakes as Cameroon committed 20 to the advantage of the East Africans.