JAPAN, September 6 – After a dismal performance at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup, Kenya ended their campaign on a high after coming a set down to edge out Peru 3-2 (23-25, 29-27, 25-27, 25-23, 15-13) in a hard fought win at the Park Arena Komaki on Sunday.
The Malkia Strikers who finished 10th on nine points, showed determination that rewarded them with their second victory after collecting their first win against fellow African side, Algeria in the global showpiece.
Mercy Moim delivered 19 points that was built from 18 solid kills and an ace, with Lydia Maiyo and Ruth Jepngetich adding 17 each for the Kenyans hard-earned victory.
Karla Ortiz of Peru topped all scorers with 20 markers in a match that was a repeat of the FIVB World Grand Prix final in Australia where Kenya overcame them 3-1 to clinch their first gold.
Head coach, David Lung’aho said they had achieved their target of winning two matches, underlining that they will use the experience gained to better their performance in the world.
“We played a good match and congratulations to Peru for giving us a very good competition. I think we have achieved our target; we wanted to win at least two matches because it’s very important for Kenya and Africa. I’m happy for my players for staying focused and happy we came out victorious,” Lung’aho, the most successful coach in the women’s national team underscored.
His captain,Brackcides Agala, hailed his charges for the spirit that they have shown in the three weeks long tournament.
“I’d like to say thanks to Peru for a good match and also congratulations to my team for an impressive game and for the win.”
The African Champions showed superb blocking but Peru unleashed complex floaters that caused troubles for the Kenyan receivers.
Peru edged Kenya in the first set with a slim margin at 25-23 but Lung’aho troops were more methodical on their attacks in the second set, by spiking off the Peruvian block and displacing their opponents’ defence with drop shots.
The Malkia Strikers really fought hard even though Peru had a sudden upsurge that extended the set. At 27-all, Kenya scored the final two points to secure the second set 29-27.
Peru took advantage of Kenya’s blunders at the net that established a 14-10 lead in the third set, but then the latter staged a 5-3 run that kept the score tight at 17-16.
Peru got out of the tight encounter down the stretch after being exposed to a series of deadlocks and lead changes 27-25.
After trailing Kenya the entire fourth set, Peru finally deadlocked at 20-all, however, the African queens did not give up and extended the match to tie-break 25-23.
Kenya endured a tight challenge by Peru in the deciding set and ended up with the win from a service ace 15-13.
Serbia who top the 12 team log on 26 points have booked their place at 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.