Malkia deflated after fourth straight Grand Prix beating

Malkia Strikers practice ahead of their Puerto Rico clash in Poland. PHOTO/Dennis Machio
Malkia Strikers practice ahead of their Puerto Rico clash in Poland. PHOTO/Dennis Machio

National women volleyball team, Malkia Strikers surrendered to a fourth straight loss after a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Puerto Rico on Friday.

The defeat dampened the spirits of the players and technical staff since it meant the record nine-time African champions have all but lost hope of lifting themselves off bottom place in the Group 2 of the FIVB World Grand Prix 2016 rankings.

Malkia fell to the Puerto Ricans 25-11, 25-20, 25-22 in the first game of Group 2D tournament in Wloclawek, Poland.

Head Coach David Lung’aho said losing the first set accounted for the eventual defeat saying that had they won it the outcome could have been much more different.

“It was a tough match, because Puerto Rico is a very strong team. Our reception didn’t work well, we scored very well and we were really close, but when it was 22-22 we probably lost concentration.” he affirmed.

“We now have to think about our match Saturday against hosts Poland and we have to improve our reception and our concentration which sometimes goes low. We are not afraid to play against hosts Poland, because the most important thing for us is to just play our game. We are still building our team and we know that our time will come.,” he told Citizen Digital.

The last time the two met was at the Olympic Qualifiers Tournament in Puerto Rico where the then hosts beat their African rivals and Friday’s repeat was their fourth consecutive win in the Grand Prix.

In Tucuman Argentina Kenya were tonked in their opening three matches against Argentina, Bulgaria and Dominican Republic.

Setter Janet Wanja admits that the team played poorly but believes that that the team improved despite the beatings.

“Unfortunately we lost concentration and Puerto Rico won this set and the whole match. We are prepared for tomorrow’s match and I just hope that we will play well and our reception will be better, because today we lost many points in this element.” She pointed out.

Kenya will play hosts Poland on Saturday and wrap up against Argentina in their last match. The Group 2 Finals take place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on June 18 and 19.

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Story By Carol Kones
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