NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – Winless in the first leg of the FIVB World Grand Prix in Argentina, Kenya’s women volleyball team will take the hunt to the second round that serves off Friday in Poland.
The Malkia Strikers battled to adjust to the new time difference having travelled from South America which is six hours behind but nonetheless, they have kept their eyes focused on the opening match against Puerto Rico.
“Most of us saw the sun out, woke up, showered and got ourselves ready for breakfast, only to realize that it was still 3am. The previous night, the sun was still up at 9pm. But we will adjust as time goes,” one of the players told Capital Sport after their arrival in Poland.
The team immediately embarked on a two-hour training program to shake off the jet lag and had their third session on Thursday morning with their eyes fixed on Puerto Rico, a side that beat them in straight sets during the Olympic Qualifiers.
Head coach David Lung’aho is optimistic the team will have better performances having picked experience in the defeats to Argentina, Bulgaria and the Dominican Republic.
“We have faced very tough opposition and up to this moment, we have picked a lot of experience. We have trained to work on our weak areas and I am certain we will improve even as we seek our first win. We have played Puerto Rico in the Olympic Qualifiers and we know what to do to beat them,” Lung’aho said after the team’s training session.
Kenya sits bottom in the eight nation group and risk relegation if they do not pick up at least a win.
Bulgaria and Puerto Rico lead the series after winning three matches and they will be hoping to be among the top three teams after the Poland leg to qualify for the finals to be hosted in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Veteran Brackcedes Agala says the team is focused ahead of the crucial second leg, noting that they will be focused to ensuring they pick maximum points.
Malkia Strikers face Puerto Rico on Friday at 6:10pm Kenyan time, then take on Poland on Saturday at 9:10pm before wrapping their campaign with a match against Argentina on Sunday at 7:10pm.