TUCUMAN, Argentina, June 1- Kenya women’s volleyball team stepped up preparations ahead of their World Grand Prix opening match against Argentina on Saturday.
The Malkia Strikers arrived in Tucuman on Tuesday evening after a six hour bus drive from Palapala in Argentina’s Jujuy province where they had landed from a week-long training camp in Buenos Aires.
Kenya faces Argentina for the second time in less than two weeks and will be hoping for better luck this time round, having lost against them in two friendly matches played in Buenos Aires and Palapala.
Head coach David Lung’aho is hoping they can master a way around the Olympics bound Argentines after working on correcting their mistakes ion training.
“The two friendly matches we played against Argentina have helped us to see our weakness and we have tried to correct them in training. The most important thing was not to win but look at the team and what we need to work on before the Grand Prix,” Lung’aho said after the girls’ first training session in Tucuman.
After playing Argentina, Kenya faces another tough match against Bulgaria before wrapping up the Tucuman leg with a match against Dominican Republic.
They will then travel to Wloclawek, Poland where they face the hosts, Argentina for a second time and Puerto Rico who beat them less than a fortnight ago in the Olympic Qualifiers.
Lung’aho says they expect a tough time in both legs noting the teams are more advanced, Kenya just making its debut in Group Two having been promoted from Group Three last season.
Lung’aho has been focusing on the team’s reception, something that has been an Achilles’ heel during the recently concluded Olympic Qualifiers and the two friendly matches against Argentina.
“I am happy with the physical condition of the players. We want to perform well and we need to play well. People expect a lot but we should accept the fact this is a stronger and high cadre group. The most important thing is give a good account of ourselves. We are targeting to make it to the final round,” Lung’aho offered.
Youngster Edith Wisa who will be making her debut in the Grand Prix has been in impressive form for the team and she expects that to continue in the grand prix.
“The team is prepared, the weather is better compared to the other places we have been and the team has a lot of morale heading to the first game. We have high hopes we are going to do well. We have a lot of confidence and we have adjusted to the surroundings here quite well,” Wisa said.