Top ranked Ser­bia swamp Kenya

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SPORT - BY CELLESTINE OLILO


Kenya's Malkia Strik­ers yes­ter­day suf­fered a crush­ing 3-0 (25-16, 25-9, 25-8) de­feat at the hands of Ser­bia in their sec­ond Group "D" match of the FIVB Women's World Cham­pi­onship at the 8,000-seater Ha­ma­matsu Arena in Ha­ma­matsu, Ja­pan.

As typhoon Trami raged in the city of Ha­ma­matsu, Ser­bia, ranked third in the world, gushed hot tak­ing only 62 min­utes to com­plete their rout of a Kenyan team that had pow­ered to a his­toric 3-0 win (25-23, 25-22, 25-21) over Kaza­khstan in their open­ing match on Sat­ur­day.

Not many ral­lies were wit­nessed in this game as Kenya were un­able to deal with the Ser­bians blocks and ended up drop­ping quick points es­pe­cially in the sec­ond and third sets.

In the open­ing set, the Malkia Strik­ers be­came vic­tims of poor ser­vice, as most of their serves flew right into the net. That was, how­ever, Kenya's most com­fort­able set as they kept up with the Ser­bians at 5-8 and 10-16 in the first and sec­ond break be­fore even­tu­ally suc­cumb­ing 25-16. Ser­bia, took full con­trol in the sec­ond set es­tab­lish­ing a 4-0 lead at the first tech­ni­cal time­out and quickly spik­ing away to a 25-9 vic­tory aided mainly by the ser­vice aces of Ti­jana Male­se­vic.

Then, in an elab­o­rate demon­stra­tion of their su­pe­ri­or­ity, Ser­bia opened a 9-1 lead in the fi­nal set and al­lowed the African na­tion only eight points as they cruised to take the set 25-8.

Malkia Strik­ers will next con­front Puerto Rico at 10am to­day be­fore tak­ing on cham­pi­ons Brazil on Wednes­day and Do­mini­can Repub­lic on Thurs­day in their pre­lim­i­nary matches.

“We knew Ser­bia were good. The first set we played well but we started go­ing down in the sec­ond set. In the third set I had to change the play­ers be­cause they were get­ting very tired. I don't know why,” coach Japheth Mu­nala said.

Cameroon, who are the only other African rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the com­pe­ti­tion, also lost 3-0 (14-25, 10-25, 16-25) to Ger­many on the sec­ond day of Pool “A” ac­tion in Yoko­hama.

Kenya are re­turn­ing to the global com­pe­ti­tion after an eight year hia­tus and have set qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the sec­ond round as their min­i­mum tar­get.

The com­pe­ti­tion brings to­gether 24 teams grouped in four pools of six teams each.

Kenya’s Jane Wacu tus­sles for an aerial ball with a Ser­bian player dur­ing their FIVB World Cham­pi­onship Group “D” match at Ha­ma­matsu Arena in Ha­ma­matsu, Ja­pan.

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