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Malkia Strikers hunt down second victory against tricky Tunisia side

VOLLEYBALL AND HANDBALL By Washington Onyango | September 15th 2021
Malkia Strikers Sharon Chepchumba in action against Cameroon during the African Nations Championship in Kigali, Rwanda. [Courtesy-CAVB]

The national women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers will be seeking to register their second win at the women’s African Nations Championships when they play Tunisia today at the Kigali Arena, in Rwanda.

After a slow start in the fixtures where Kenya lost to reigning champions Cameroon, the Malkia Strikers got back on track by flooring Democratic Republic of Congo 3-0 on Monday.

The mixed results left Kenya joint second with three points alongside Tunisia and DRC, a position the Kenyan ladies would not want to be in with the semifinals at stake.

Kenya must beat Tunisia, if they are to grab an early ticket to the next phase, an objective head coach Paul Bitok is keen on achieving despite his spikers struggling to hit the ground running.

Bitok made four changes to the Tokyo Olympics squad and it seems the new faces are taking time to pick up the rhythm.

Speaking after the DRC win on Monday, the tactician said he is figuring out his new lineup after missing the services of his key players including setter Jane Wacu, left attacker Noel Murambi, middle blocker Triza Atuka and utility player Violet Makuto, who have previously formed Kenya’s starting lineup.

“To create a winning team takes time and the new girls are just getting to know each other. We all believe that it is just a matter of time before they get their chemistry right which will then bring positive results,” said Bitok.

Bitok said the win against DRC will motivate Kenya ahead of today’s game against the West Africans.

“I am impressed with how the players reacted after the opening loss to Cameroon. We’ve perfected in the areas that gave our opponents the advantage, but we will be ready for Tunisia,” said the coach who praised captain Mercy Moim and Sharon Chepchumba for their impressive show.

Moim and Chepchumba are almost getting back to their level best after recovering from their recent injuries, which has seen Bitok start Moim from the bench in the past two matches.

Cameroon are top of Group B standings with six points after beating Kenya and Tunisia in straight sets.

The champions will play DRC as Kenya entertain Tunisia.


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