Malkia Strikers aim high as global show serves off

Malkia strikers players take a break from traininn in Serbia on September 19, 2022. [Courtesy]

To be the best you have to outclass the best, and that is what national women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers will be striving to accomplish in Netherlands when the World Championships starts tonight. 

Kenya who are ranked 30th in the world ranking take on 10th ranked Netherlands in a match that serves off at 9pm Kenyan time. 

In the latest rankings, Kenya has 131 points compared to Netherlands’s 250 points, which proves the later will start tonight’s match at Arnhem city as favourites. 

In their pooling, Kenya is the least ranked side as Italy are ranked third with 367 points while Belgium, Puerto Rico and Cameroon are ranked 12th (216), 18th (174) and 25th (156) respectively.The team will be making their seventh appearance at the global tournament, and Brazilian coach Luizomor de Moura who has been seconded by FIVB to assist coach Paul Bitok said his charges are ready for the task ahead at the championships that runs up to October 15. 

For the seven appearances Kenya has made in the championships, it has been kissing bye the events at the preliminary rounds but this time they will be seeking to qualify for the second round. 

Coach Bitok has been working on improving the team’s poor reception, blocks and finishing, which he said the girls have shown great improvement. 

Moura is likely to start with the same players who beat Serbia’s B team last Sunday at Belgrade. 

Skipper Mercy Moim, Lorine Chebet, Noel Murambi, Edith Wisa, Sharon Chepchumba and new call up Immaculate Nekesa are expected to make the starting list with Aggripina Kundu playing her vital role as libero. 

However, Veronica Adhiambo, Violet Makuto, Veronica Kilabat, Belinda Barasa, Gladys Ekaru, Meldinah Sande and libero Yvonne Wavinya will be available when called upon. 

“As captain, we have set our eyes on doing well at the championships. We all know it is a tall order but we are ready to climb the ladder, ” said Moim. 

The five new call-ups will also be excited to play at the championships. 

At the same time Africa’s best women volleyball attacker Chepchumba will also use the championships to prove she is rife for a professional stint in Europe.