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Malkia Strikers start qualifiers with a bang

Malkia Strikers at Kasarani gymnasium after beating Uganda by straight sets in the Africa Zone Five Qualifiers on Friday.Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28- National women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers needed just one hour and four minutes to dismiss neighbors Uganda by straight sets (25-12, 25-15, 25-12) in their opening match of the CAVB Zone Five World Championship Qualifiers at the Kasarani gymnasium on Friday evening.

Head coach Japheth Munala says he was impressed with the performance of the team and says it sets them up for a stronger performance in the next two matches against Rwanda and Egypt.

“We played well though it was not such a tough match. It is a good start for us and at the same time it gives the players confidence to get into the tournament proper. We executed our game plan and hopefully we keep up the same in the next match,” Munala said after the game.

The hosts dominated the entire match and it was also an opportunity for head coach Munala to give a run in for the new players, libero Celestine Nyongesa, right attacker Emmaculate Chemutai and middle blocker Ann Lowem.

“They impressed me so much and showed that they deserve to be in the team especially the setter Nyongesa. She came in and blended in the team well,” added the coach.

Uganda’s Sharon Amito spike against Triza Atuka and Mercy Moim of Kenya.Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Skipper Mercy Moim has now urged the team to double the efforts in the second match on Saturday against Rwanda.

“We have begun well and we are confident, with the way we have performed today, that we will be able to win this championship. Rwanda is another tough test and we need to be even tougher than today,” Moim one of the star performers in the match noted.

Malkia took control right from the start, taking in a 25-12 set score after dominating for most part. The second set was a bit tougher with the Ugandans closing in the gap to as little as five points, but Malkia held on.

In the third set, the home girls took it more firmly and with the rotation of the team ensured they kept on a strong performance throughout.

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