Kenya U23 Women's Volleyball coach Catherine Mabwi is satisfied with the performance of her side despite losing by straight sets to champions Brazil in Sunday’s Pool B opening match of the 2017 FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship, at Sportna Dvorana Tivolo hall in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The Junior Malkia Strikers fell 15-2, 15-5, 15-12, 15-10 to the South Americans, who capitalized on their poor reception and blocks to win the game played under a new scoring system currently being tested: a best-of-seven, 15-point set format.
Mabwi conceded that Brazil was a better side but urged her players to focus on today's (3pm) match against Bulgaria.
"Brazil was a tough opponent today. My team tried very well. The score was okay. It’s only a few mistakes here and there. Otherwise, for the first international match the girls did very well," said Mabwi.
Just like Mabwi, Kenya captain Shyrine Jepkembo is looking forward to an improved performance against Bulgaria.
"I am not sad that we lost our first match here. We did our best in the match that was our first international game. We should improve our start. This is crucial for winning more points. In think that in the next games we will improve," said the Prisons Kenya middle-blocker.
Brazil started the match on a high note, putting pressure on the Kenyans as they quickly took command of the match in the opening set.
It was a quick affair in the new 15-point set format as Brazil showed no mercy, rushing to an undisputed 15-2 first set win.
Kenya nourished hope in the beginning of the second set (4-4). However, they were not consistent enough as the European side rapidly rose the speed and power to claim the second set 15-5.
Kenya had their best moments in the third set where they temporality held the Brazilians at 10-10 before losing 15-12. It was the same scenario in the fourth set as Brazil proved their worthiness to win 15-10.
Dominican Republic 4-2 Egypt (12-15, 15-6, 15-8, 15-12, 15-17, 19-17)
Brazil 4-0 Kenya (15-2, 15-5, 15-12, 15-10)