Kenya crash to Dutch


HAMAMATSU, Japan, November 2 – Kenya suffered their fourth straight defeat at the Womens Volleyball World Championships after losing to Netherlands at the on Tuesday.

Kenya lost in straight sets 3-0 (25-8, 25-14, 25-11) and follows their bad start at the championships where they lost their previous Pool B games to Brazil, Puerto Rico and Italy, also in straight sets.

“Today our reception was very poor. That is why they could win 8 straight points. Also our attack was not so good, ” said Kenya captain Brackcides Khadambi.

“We felt that perhaps we could win the match (at 12-12 in the second set). But after that, our team went down, and we lost,” she added.

After swallowing two bitter losses to Italy and Brazil on the weekend, the Dutch needed an easy win to recover confidence, and they got it against winless Kenya, thanks to early margins in each set. But Kenya did not go quietly, and they even tied the second set at 12, before the Dutch raised their game and showed their superior technique and defensive coverage.

The outcome never seemed in doubt in the first set, as the Netherlands zoomed ahead 9-3 and 14-5.  Kenya’s great effort chasing balls behind the court during an exciting rally won them the point to go 16-7, but they lost top spiker Asha Makuto, who came up limping and missed the rest of the set. The Dutch then reeled off 6 straight points, and took the set comfortably 25-8.

The second set was a strange creature with three faces. The Dutch notched 8 straight points to open the second set, before Kenya earned back four of their own. Kenya then seemed ready to stage a stunning upset, and they tied the set at 12 after blocks by Wachu and Brackcides Khadambi, and then a spike by Mercy Moim. But Manon Flier showed why she is one of the world’s top spikers, and the Dutch reeled off seven straight points to win the set 25-14.

Even after Flier sat down after setting up Alice Blom for a spike at 10-5, Dutch substitutes continued to dominate the Kenyans by scores of 12-7 and 18-9, and the Dutch notched 8 points in a row, before winning 25-11.

The Netherlands will face Puerto Rico on Wednesday, while Kenya will have one last chance to win their first ever at this level, against the Czech Republic.