Malkia strikers lose second friendly ahead of world cup
The national women volleyball team collapsed to 3-1 defeat against V- league side Hitachi Rivale in a build up match played at the Hitachi Rivale gymnasium here in Japan.
Overall, the African Queens posted an improved performance in this match compared to the 2-0 loss to the same team, and a separate 1-0 set loss to Fotushi University during a three team tournament involving the teams on Sunday morning.
Coach David Lung’aho missed the services of three dependable players in the match owing to injuries and illness.
Captain Brackides Agala had already stayed out of two sessions before Sunday’s game with blisters on her right foot.
The central attacker was joined on the sidelines by another attacker Lucy Maiyo who collided with her teammate in training and was forced off with a swollen ankle.
Then, setter Wacu caught a cold and was excused from training.
The trio is however expected to fully recover before the team’s opening match of the FIVB women’s World Cup against Cuba on Friday evening, according to the team’s doctor Charles Maina.
“Agala and Maiyo need some rest to let the injuries heal and also avoid the risk of aggravating them. In Wacu’s case, it is just a cold that will go away. I have advised her to take alot of water,” Maina told Nairobi News.
In the match up against Hitachi, Kenya paid heavily for giving away a number of points cheaply through net serves and poor reception, enroute to losing the opening two sets by 21-25 and 10-25 scores.
The African champions then briefly recovered to beat the asians 25-20 in the third set, but then despite leading the fourth set 8-6 and then 11-9, collapsed under the visible signs of fatigue in the later stages to lose 16-25.
Lung’aho handed starts to Noel Murambi, Monica Biama and Ruth Jepngetich in place of Everlyne Makuto, Brackides Agala and Lydia Maiyo and the trio held out to impress for long spells in the match.
“This practice will be of help when we face South Korea, Japan and China at the World Cup because they play a similar fast paced game to Hitahi,” coach David Lung’aho acknowledged after the match.