Germany crush Kenyan queens

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NAGANO, Japan, November 4 – Germany cruised past Kenya 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-8) in their opening match of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup 2011 at White Ring in Nagano on Friday.

Angelina Grün was named Most Impressive Player as she top-scored for Germany with 11 points.

Margareta Kozuch added ten for the Germans while Kenya’s top scorer was captain Brackcides Khadambi with eight. Germany out-blocked Kenya 10-2.

If Kenya were hoping to ease their way into this World Cup, Germany clearly weren’t told.

Grün pummelled the African champions early on with two big spikes and a pair of massive serves as Germany cruised into a seven-point lead at 9-2.

But Mercy Moim took a stand with two spikes and a great block on Corina Ssuschke-Voigt, earning three successive points and giving the Kenyans some momentum.

They narrowed the gap to four points and gave Germany some problems, but couldn’t cut the Germans’ lead significantly.

A sharp spike by Maren Brinker brought up set point at 24-17. Kenya saved two – prompting Germany coach Giovanni Guidetti to call a timeout – but a big thump by Kozuch put the Germans 1-0 up.

Mercy again tried to keep Kenya in the running in the second set and the two teams were level at 10-10.

But Christiane Fürst came up with three huge blocks – two on Mercy and one on Khadambi – that put Germany back in control.

They moved into a seven-point lead at 20-13 and were 23-14 up when Regina Burchardt and Ssuschke-Voigt combined to block Mercy.

A big hit by Brinker then put Germany two sets ahead.

Kenya weren’t helped by reception errors at the start of the third set and coach Paul Bitok called his players off court at 1-5.

But more good blocking by Fürst kept the pressure on Kenya, who failed to return a soft lob serve by Kathleen Weiss which gave Germany an 8-1 lead at the first technical time out.

A run of nine straight German points was only stopped when Weiss plonked a serve into the net.

A change of setter allowed Kenya more spiking opportunities and Everlyne Makuto took full advantage, landing three good hits.

But Kenya were still 10 points back at the second TTO and struggling to deal with the feisty Germans. They managed two more points before Anne Matthes ended the match with a thumping spike.

Germany will clash with Korea on Saturday while Kenya have the daunting task of taking on world number 1 side Brazil.

– FIVB.com

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