Malkia Strikers attacker Chumba calls for defensive improvement

Kenya's Sharon Chepchumba in action against Erika Araki of Japan in their Tokyo 2020 Olympics women's Pool A volleyball match yesterday. [Reuters] 

Malkia Strikers volleyball team need to do more together and need to do it now to be ready to challenge their opponents at the World Championships, according to right attacker Sharon Chepchumba.

The call came after Malkia were beaten 3-0 ( 27-25, 25-13, 25-16) by the Brazilian national under 21 team yesterday morning at Brazil Volleyball Academy in Saquarema town in Rio de Janeiro.

The defeat came barely a day after the Paul Bitok-coached charges beat a Brazilian Superliga B side Sesi Sorocaba 3-0 (28-26, 25-20, 25-15).
Malkia lost their first build up match eight days ago to five-time Brazilian women league champions Osasco 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-23).

Chepchumba is calling for the perfection of the defence for the team to be ready for the global championships scheduled to run from September 23 to October 15 in Netherlands and Poland.

"We tried to apply our new skills but there is more to be done to our defence. We need to perfect our defence. Generally, I am happy with the training we have been getting from our coaches here in Brazil," said Chepchumba.
Under the tutelage of Japheth Munala who is Bitok's deputy, Chepchumba and her teammates at KCB defeated 10-time African champions Al Ahly of

Egypt 3-1 to clinch the 2022 Africa Women's Club crown in May.
Chepchumba who was also named the most valuable player at the continental showpiece in Kelibia, Tunisia has signed a professional deal with a Greek side, Aris Thessaloniki and hopefully said she will fly back to Kenya to play for KCB in the national women's league playoffs.

Chepchumba's sentiments were echoed by her coach Bitok, who said the team displayed poor reception and attack with less quick attacks in the middle.
"Poor defence was our undoing as we were not quick and swift as the modern game demands," said Bitok.
"Strong service, defence and good blocks from the young Brazilian girls destroyed our game plan."

He continued: "It was noted that the general performance of the team was not up to the task and hoped to see more improvement in the defence in the other build up matches."
Malkia were due to play the same team last night at the same venue.

However, Bitok singled out youthful Veronica Adhiambo whom he said has shown great improvement.
During yesterday's match at  Adhiambo came in for Noel Murambi in the first and second sets and went ahead to replace Yvonne Wavinya in the third set.

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