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Hard-fighting Malkia go down to Japan

Malkia Strikers duo of Sharon Chepchumba and Violet Makuto attempt to block a spike from japan during their World Cup game in Sapporo on September 23, 2019. PHOTO/FIVB

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – Despite showing an improved performance, Malkia Strikers lost their seventh successive match by straight sets at the FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Cup, going down by straight sets to hosts Japan in Sapporo on Monday afternoon.

Middle blocker Edith Wisa was Kenya’s best performer in the tie, accumulating a joint-game high points tally of 13 as the Kenyans lost in closely fought set scores of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-20.

It was a much more improved performance by Paul Bitok’s girls from their first game in Sapporo on Sunday where they lost by a similar margin, but the set scores were lower against the Dominican Republic.

Malkia Strikers middle blocker Edith Wisa reacts during their match against Japan at a World Cup game in Sapporo on September 23, 2019. PHOTO/FIVB

“We played better and are continuing to improve. We played like we did against the United States and Brazil tonight. Many teams here are playing fast and we are doing the same. We have been able to create more chances in attack. Our reception has also improved,” head coach Bitok acknowledged after the game.

His sentiments were shared by skipper Mercy Moim who said; “We played a good game compared to the other matches. We are going forward and playing better and better every day. We will keep doing our best.”

Malkia will face China in their final match in Sapporo on Tuesday morning before travelling to Osaka for the final round of matches against Kore, Russia and African rivals Cameroon.

Malkia sit bottom of the 12-team tournament with no point while Cameroon are a spot above but have just one point due to their set score ratio, having also failed to win a single set in their World Cup debut.

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