Colombia shave Malkia in nightmare start


Veteran setter, Janet Wanja's hair do turned heads in San Juan during their opening defeat ...
Veteran setter, Janet Wanja's hair do turned heads in San Juan during their opening defeat to Colombia. PHOTO/FIVB

It was a no walk to the park for national women’s volleyball team – Malkia Strikers who lost  to Colombia 0-3 in
their first match of the Women Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Puerto Rico.

Colombia swept Kenya 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-13) where Kenya struggled on reception as Colombia served well. The Colombians collected 10 points from the service line but also defended well with 10 blocks.

The victors led comfortably in all the sets utilising their  blocks to establish a 3-0 sets win.

Brackcides Khadambi scored eight points for Kenya while Madelaynne Montano floated 16 , including 12 kills, one block and three aces to steer her team to the whitewash in the opening match of the Qualification Tournament in San Juan.

Malkia Head Coach David Lung’aho is hoping his team improves and play better Sunday in their matches against Algeria and also  Puerto Rico on Monday.

“We’ve played, we’ve lost against Colombia first match  very difficult and also very difficult conditions it’s very cold but I think we played poorly we didn’t attack very well, and Colombia took the advantage, they used their height  well, they are very tall but our players need to step up their game if at all we have to pull up a win here, because I don’t think that was Kenya that was quite a different team but we are not loosing hope we can still fight.

“To me the most important thing now is to make sure that we play well in the subsequent matches. For the players I think their best was not good enough I can’t blame them, we are playing against so many things fatigue, time difference but we did our best that we could.

-Lost concentration-

Colombia spike against Malkia Strikers in their FIVB World Qualification opener against Colombia. PHOTO/Dennis Machio
Colombia spike against Malkia Strikers in their FIVB World Qualification opener against Colombia. PHOTO/Dennis Machio

“At some point we did very well but we lost some concentration that was a major factor. Next we are playing against Algeria I hope we win and rejuvenate our moral before we play Puerto Rico.” Lungaho told Citizen Digital.

Captain Mercy Moim also lauded her teamates for playing well though as they try to adjust to the surrounding conditions.

“We have done our best, this is our first match and Colombia is a good competitor. We are still affected by the change of time. We clearly didn’t have time to adjust.” she asserted.

Kenya and Algeria are the two African teams that have participated at the Olympic Games and never won a match with Cameroon who won the continental qualifiers in Yaounde set to make their debut.

Hosts Puerto Rico also thrashed Algeria in the other Pool A match 3-0 (25-10,25-11,25-12) in their first match of the Women’s Olympic Qualifier Tournament.

Puerto Rico have won all of their matches against African sides at major tournaments.

They beat Kenya at the 2002 and 2010 World Championship (3-1, 3-0) and Cameroon at the 2006 World Championship (3-0).

Algeria finished as runners-up in the 2015 African Championship after losing the gold medal match in straight sets to the home side for their fourth medal at the African Championships in the last five editions – one gold (2009) and three silver (2007, 2011, 2015).

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