Kenya’s national women volleyball team got off to the best possible start at the 2018 FIVB World Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 win over Kazakhstan at the 8,000-seater Hamamatsu Arena in Hamamtsu, Japan on Saturday.
It was the senior women’s national team’s first ever victory in the global competition, and the second by an African country after Cameroon beat Mexico 3-1 earlier in the day in Yokohama.
The first set was the most daunting for Kenya, as they trailed Kazakhstan 2-8 and 13-16 at the first and second technical timeouts respectively before recovering late in the game to win 25-23.
The prowess of captain Mercy Moim was instrumental in that first set, as she delivered a sterling performance against Kazakhstan.
In the second set, the African queens led from start to finish, leading 8-3 and 16-13 at the first and second time outs and wrapping it up with a more comfortable 25-22 score line.
With Kazakhstan staring at yet another opening day defeat in their four appearances at the World Championship, the third set became a nail-biting affair.
The Malkia Strikers are returning to the global competition after an eight-year hiatus, and they have set qualification to the second round as their minimum target.
The competition brings together 24 teams who have been spread across four pools of six teams each. The top four teams from each pool will advance to the second round.
Jane Wacu, Janet Wanja, Trizah Atuka , Edith Wisa, Lorine Chebet, Chrsitine Siwa, Mercy Moim, Noel Murambi, Sharon Chepchumba, Leonida Kasaya, Violet Makuto , Emmaculate Chemtai, Elizabeth Wanyama, Aggripina Kundu
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