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Malkia fall to Puerto Rico in Hamamatsu

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Malkia strikers setter Jane Wacu has her eyes on building up an attack during their FIVB World ChampionshIp match against Puerto Rico at the Hamamatsu Indoor Arena on October 1, 2018. PHOTO/FIVB

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1 – Despite putting up a gallant fight in the first and second sets, Malkia Strikers failed to match the intensity of Puerto Rico before losing out by straight sets to the South Americans in their third match at the FIVB World Championship in Hamamatsu, Japan on Monday.

Japheth Munala’s girls were coming into the tie off another tough match against Serbia on Sunday where they also lost out by straight sets and despite a good start, Puerto Rico won the match in scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-15.

A hotly contested first set saw the Puerto Ricans use their experience to have an advantage over Malkia, but the second set gave some hope for the Kenyans.

They tightened on their blocks and led 19-15 at some point, looking all set to pull at least a set back. However, a series of error in reception saw Puerto Rico pick points off service with Stephanie Enright leading them on to win the second set.

Malkia Strikers middle blocker Triza Atuka whispers a tactical point to setter Jane Wacu during their match against Puerto Rico in the FIVB World Championships at the Hamamatsu Indoor Arena on October 1, 2018. PHOTO/FIVB

Japheth Munala’s girls seemed to have faded off and lost the will to fight in the third set with Puerto Rico taking it easily after leading 8-4 and 16-8 at the first and second technical time outs.

Mercy Moim continued with her imperious form and was Kenya’s best scorer managing 14 points while Noelle Murambi managed 10.

Puerto Rico’s Daly Santana was the best scorer on her side managing 18 points while Enright collected 13 points, most of which came off her venomous serves.

The girls will now have a day of rest and recovery before taking on another tough battle against Brazil on Wednesday.

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