Malkia Strikers, are on course to finish their group matches unbeaten at the ongoing CAVB African Nations Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Playing familiar foe in Morocco in their penultimate group stage match, Luizomar de Moura’ team slipped in the third setbut recovered to keep their winning streak going with a 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 22-25, 25-14) win.
The team will face Lesotho in their fifth match of the preliminaries, paving way for tougher competition in the knockout stages.
Coach Luizomar stuck with his first-team of the hard-hitting duo of Veronica Adhiambo, Sharon Chepchumba, Edith Wisah, TrizahAtuka, EmmaculateNekesa and skipper Moim in the first set that Kenya won easily.
In the second set, the tactician introduced Rose Magoi for Nekesa, and LoiceSimiyu for Chepchumba midway, the experienced Magoi changing the momentum of match for the Kenyan side.
Jemimah Siang’u also came in towards the end of the set, her clear-cut service proving a valuable weapon for Luizomar’s side as they went on to win 25-23.
Kenya had the opportunity to maintain their run of straight-sets victory in the third set but a series of poor decisions at the tail-end of the set saw the Moroccans, who had played two friendly matches against the Kenyan ahead of the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup, grab the set 22-25.
Their momentum was, however, short-lived as Kenya made a strong comeback, minimising mistakes while capitalising on any from Morocco’s half to win the set 25-14 for a 3-1 victory.
“Congratulations to my team for keeping the winning streak going. We did not anticipate losing that third set but poor reception and service mistakes gave Morocco the opportunity to dominate set.
“We are, however, focused on the bigger goal and that is maintaining our unbeaten run as we are here to reclaim the title,” Moim said after the match.
On his part, assistant coach Paul Bitok called for calm saying that losing a set against a team that had the opportunity to study Malkia Strikers while they camped in Morocco ahead of this championship and even played two friendly matches should be no cause for alarm.