Malkia Strikers ready for World Championships in Netherlands

Malkia Strikers players during a friendly match against Serbia on September 18, 2022. [Courtesy] 

National women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers leave Serbia today for the World Championships that serves off on Friday in Netherlands and Poland. 

The Kenyan girls leave with their heads high after concluding their two and half months training program with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-11) win over Serbian national team B. 

They had lost 3-0 on Saturday to the Serbian league champions Red Star Belgrade. 

Captain Mercy Moim will lead the team in Netherlands and she is optimistic of beating the 2021 African champions Cameroon and Puerto Rico. 

Malkia Strikers have been in Brazil for close to two months where they won three out of the 10 build-up matches they played in before flying to Serbia for two more friendly matches. 

Kenya has made seven appearances at the global event but they have never made it to the second stage. 

However, Moim said they intend to win two matches against Cameroon and Puerto Rico and make history of making it to the next stage. 

“We have learned and improved a lot and we look forward to giving our best in Netherlands,” she said after the win against the Serbians. 

Coach Paul Bitok said they have been working on their weakness in Brazil and said the training has enabled the players to improve on individual performances. 

Former Brazil Under-23 national coach Luizomar de Moura who has been seconded to the Kenyan team by FIVB said the players have changed the Kenyan volleyball face. 

“We are going to show a new team in Netherlands. We have prepared well and we believe in ourselves. We have young players who need the right investments for them to take Kenyan volleyball to another level,” the Brazilian said. 

In their last build-up match on Sunday, coach Moura trusted the same starting lineup he had for the Red Star Belgrade match on Saturday with skipper Moim, Lorine Chebet, Noel Murambi, Edith Wisah, Sharon Chepchumba and Emmaculate Nekesa on the floor and Agripina Kundu maintained her libero role.  

“A great fighting spirit was exhibited in the match where the new call-ups were at their best. This gave a different impression of the team we had watched against Red Star on Saturday,” said the coach adding that the youthful Veronica Adhiambo, Belinda Barasa and Emmaculate Nekesa played exceptionally well. 

The Serbian youngsters tried to mount a comeback in all the three sets and Kenya continued with their perfect show to win the match and sign off in style as they leave for Netherlands. 

 

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