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Kenyans leave for World Grand Prix in Mexico after African conquest

After successfully defending their title at the African Nations Championships, the national women’s volleyball team leaves for Mexico Tuesday night for the World Grand Prix.

This will be the second time the Kenya are taking part in the global event held annually and which brings together the best teams from the world.

Kenya has been pooled in Group Three alongside Algeria, Australia, Colombia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Peru.

Kenya performed poorly in last year’s tournament, but coach David Lung’aho says they will put up a better performance this year as they have a better understanding of their opponents.

“Last year was out first time to take part in a world series and we struggled because we were dealing with unfamiliar opponents. This year will be different because we know who we are going up against and the girls will carry a lot of motivation from the title we won on Saturday,” he said Monday.

Lung’aho has retained all the 12 players who did Kenya proud during the African Nations Cup at the weekend, and the vivacious Bracksides “Blackie” Agala has also retained his place as the team’s captain.

Everlyn Makuto, Jane Wacu and Elizabeth Wanyama, who were feted at the end of the continental tournament as Most Valuable Player, best setter and best libero respectively are also in the travelling party which seeks to recreate their continental success on the world stage.

The National Oil Corporation-sponsored team will face their group opponents in two legs, the first competition beginning this Thursday in Mexico against Peru, Columbia and hosts Mexico.

They will then head to Algeria on June 30 for their next group challenge where they will come up against hosts Algeria, Mexico and Australia from July 1-5.

If the team finishes among the top four teams, they will travel to Australia for the finals scheduled for July 10-12.