National women’s volleyball team quest to proceed to the next round of the FIVB World Championship was dealt a major blow after succumbing to Dominican Republic 3-0 ( 25-5, 25-7, 25-15 ) in their last Pool ‘D’ match at the Hamamatsu Arena, Japan yesterday.
Having missed the event for eight years, the East Africans needed to win two matches at the preliminary stage to advance to the second round.
The side, coached by Japheth Munala will, however, draw consolation from the fact that they picked their maiden win against Kazakhstan at the World Championship stage.
Serbia, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will now proceed to the next round. Leonida Kasaya and Sharon Chepchumba scored five points each for Kenya while Lisvel Mejia and Brayelin Martinez added 12 points each in the victory for the Dominicans.
The Dominicans dominated the match in all aspects of the game as Kenya struggled with reception throughout the match.
Their win didn’t therefore come as surprise as they took an 8-3 lead in the opening set amid quick scores on attack and exhibiting proficiency in their serves. The Dominicans scored eight straight points to take a commanding 19-5 advantage and never looked back en-route taking the set 25-5.
The second set mirrored the first as the Dominican Republic raced to a 6-0 lead. Not even the powerful spikes from Chepchumba were enough to counter their opponents as Kenyans trailed 16-2 at the second TTO. As the set progressed, the more the Kenyan fell further behind and the Dominican Republic took the set 25-7.
The third set was for Dominican Republic to lose despite Malkia Strikers putting up resistance in the opening minutes with the scores tied at 7-7 at some point.
The Dominicans then scored four straight points to go up 11-7 and 16-11 at the second TTO. They went on to seal the set 25-15.
In a post match interview, Munala said: “We wanted to play well against the Dominican Republic. They destroyed our reception and were fast on counter attack. I wish the Dominican Republic success in the next round and hope they go all the way to the final.”
Kenya captain Mercy Moim conceded defeat. “They played a super game. We played our best but it was not good enough.”