Malkia Stars on the brink of relegation

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jun 12, 2021
  • David Lung'aho continues to blame different departments as Kenya loses fifth match since promotion to Division two. A loss against Argentina means relegation to the lower tier.

Kenya women volleyball team must beat Argentina in their last match of the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix Division to avoid relegation.

This is after losing 0-3 (25-18, 25-10, 25-14) to hosts Poland in a match that lasted an hour. Since promotion to this division, Kenya as ost all five matches and not won a single set. They are bottom of the log with no point and a ratio of 0.000.

Canada who have also not won any match have a better ratio of 0.066 after winning one set against  Poland.

Against Poland, Malkia Strikers found the going tough. Kenya’s only best performance in the match was displayed in the first set where they stayed neck to neck with the hosts before losing.

The home team capitalized on the Kenyan errors in reception and inexperience.

The blame game which has punctuated Kenya's performnce continued after the loss. David Lung’aho attributed the loss to poor reception for the loss and acknowledged the strengthof their opponents.

“Poland had a very strong serve which we couldn’t receive well, they just played very good - even the young players. We did our best, but we didn’t have good reception."

He focused on the match against Argentina. "We have played with Argentina several times. I am sure that with good reception we can achieve a better result."

The short match saw a great performance by Polish opposite spiker, Malwina Smarzek top scoring with 13 points while Kenyan captain Mercy Moim scored 11 points.

Lung’aho fielded Edith Mukivilani who joined regulars Moim, Jane Wacu, Noel Murambi, Violet Makuto and Brackides Agala. Cheered by the home fans, the hosts controlled the match from the beginning of set one taking a 4-1 lead and eventually 8-4 at first TTO.

Kenya tried to bridge the gap but the home team surged on before going into the second TTO leading 16-11. They moved up to 19-12 and then to 22-16 forcing Lung’aho to call for a time out.

Pep talk didn’t do much because Poland surged ahead 24-17 before winning 25-18.

Strong spikes

Tamara Kaliszuk opened the second set with some strong spikes and the score started looking good for Poland again.

The hosts stayed on the winning track, but Kenya did not lose their positive attitude and cheered after each point gained. At 17-8 coach Jacek Nawrocki changed the first setter Joanna Wolosz and introduced Marlena Pleśnierowicz.

She delivered after a massive kill by Kaliszuk and Poland won easily 25-10.

A brilliant performance by Emilia Mucha on the serve resulted in a 4-0 lead in set three. The White-Reds slowed down a bit at 9-4 letting the Kenyan players play with a bit more confidence.

The visitors used the opportunity, by stepping up their efforts in spike and reduced the gap to one point at 9-8. Poland exerted pressure again and continued to play aggressively in attack, regaining their lead.

At the end of the game Martyna Hawryla dinked lightly and on the next point Martyna Smarzek’s huge kill closed the match at 25-14.