Kenya loses build-up matches for FIVB World Cup
The national women volleyball team on Saturday lost to Hitachi Rivale Club and Fokushi University in build up matches for the FIVB World Cup which commences on Friday.
The Kenyan girls, who arrived in Japan last Thursday, have set up camp at the Hitachi Rivale complex in Ibaraki Province, some two hours drive from the country’s capital Tokyo.
Kenya lost 25-18 in the opening set against Hitachi Rivale in a contest highlighted by a raft of unforced errors from the African champions.
In the second set, Kenya succumbed to a 25-20 loss to the same side, which features in the top flight volleyball league in Japan.
Kenya also lost out in the final set by an identical scoreline of 25-20 to Fokushi University.
Rivale defeated the University team by 25-23 and 25-22 in two sets later at the same venue.
Whatever they lacked in physique and power play against the tall and physically robust Kenyans, the hosts more than made up for it with a highly technical and well coordinated play.
Despite the loss the Kenyan team won praises from their opponents.
“They have impressed me with their attacks but will have to really improve in defence and reception to stand and chance of challenging the top quality opposition at the World Cup,” Rivale head coach Matsuda Akihiko, who is a former Japan international explained.
“I am really impressed by some players in the Kenyan team. The side has made great strides since they were last here four years ago. But they still have to improve on coordination in reception and communication before the tournament begins,” Fokushi coach Ichiko Sato also commented.
Captain Brackides Agala and Lydia Maiyo, who have previously played professionally in Japan, were some of the standout players in the matches.
Kenya coach David Lung’aho who used all his players, save for Monica Biama in the matches, attributed the defeats to a slow start in all the sets, but promised to rectify those mistakes in the next friendly against Rivale.