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June 20, 2018

Kenyans smashed

National women’s Under-23 volleyball team continued with their poor run in the ongoing World Championship after succumbing 4-0 to Turkey in their third Pool ‘B’ match in Ljubljana, Slovenia yesterday.

With yesterday loss, the Kenyans remain rooted at the bottom of their pool, having also lost the opening two matches with a 4-0 margin against champions Brazil and Bulgaria. Brazil are in pole position after maintaining unbeaten run.

With Anne Lowen recovering from the knee injury she picked on Monday during the match against Bulgaria, national team coach Catherine Mabwi drafted lanky Beldine Akinyi in the starting line up.

Like the opening two matches, Turkey also capitalised on Kenya’s poor back-court to easily bag the first set 15-6. Turkey who had several of fringe players picked from where they left as they led 6-3, 7-3 and 9-3 in the second set before sealing it 15-5.

Kenyans tried to keep pace with their opponents in the third set, tying 2-2 and 3-3 in the early stages of the set but that is as far as they could go as their opponent took a two point lead with 7-5, 9-7 and 12-10 gap. Turkey then maintained the tempo to the end of the set, winning 15-12.

Like the third set, the fourth set looked promising with Kenya engaging their European counterparts in a neck-to-neck affair early in the set. They tied 1-1, 4-4 but Turkey settled in the game to take a 5-4 lead. At this point, the Kenyan girls lost their way to allow the winners to open a three-point lead 11-8 . The Turkish side never looked back sealing the match with 15-11 win the fourth set. The match lasted 49 minutes.

Turkey’s Hande Baladinled emerged the top scorer with 13 points. The national team will rest today before they make a date with Cuba who are yet to win a match as well tomorrow. They wrap up their preliminary round with a match against Japan on Friday.

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