Kenya loses final build-up match in Japan
The national women volleyball team on Thursday concluded its week-long training camp in Hitachi with a loss to hosts Hitachi Rivale Volleyball Club in a build up match for the FIVB World Cup.
This was the Africans Queens final match before the tournament starts on Saturday.
Although the game was played out in a less competitive mode with the visiting team players determined to avoid last minute injuries, the overall performance left Kenya’s technical bench led by coach David Lung’aho with genuine concerns ahead of the grand competition.
This was the third game in a row – and the second against the same team – that Kenya has lost.
This was despite Kenya starting the match the strongest of the two teams, only to yet again collapse against the Japanese top division side who were a far better tactically and technically.
FATIGUE AND INJURIES
In the end, Hitachi, aided by a speedy attacking game, that the Kenyans could just match, emerged victors by winning the consequent three sets 25-13, 25-17 and 25-15.
Lung’aho, who attributed the loss to fatigue and niggling injuries, will need to fix the team’s poor reception, back court cover and lack of communication in some fronts before the tournament kicks off.
“I have given the ladies the afternoon off, but then we will assemble in the evening and watch a couple of videos of our opponents playing and then strategize on some tactical work,” Lung’aho said.
Kenya will now depart Hitachi on Friday for a two and and half hour drive to the country’s capital Tokyo and check in at the Keio Plaza hotel where they will be based for the duration of the first round of matches.