• Malkia will open their title campaign against the USA before taking on the Netherlands on Sunday and wrap up the Hamamatsu City event against Serbia on Monday.
• Bitok confirmed he will be fielding fast-rising Sharon Chepchumba in the right position going forward following his performance at the All Africa Games.
National women’s volleyball team coach Paul Bitok has admitted that it will be a tall order to emulate their 2015 performance as the team left for this weekend’s World Cup in Japan.
Kenya recorded two wins against Peru and their African counterparts Algeria to finish in tenth out of 12 participating teams in the last event held..........
Bitok said they expect a totally different ball game this time considering the pooling. Malkia open their title campaign against the USA in the first round on Saturday before taking on The Netherlands on Sunday. They wrap up the Hamamatsu City event with the final match against Serbia on Monday.
Bitok, who is fresh from guiding the women’s team to defending the African Games title in Rabat, Morocco, revealed that all their opponents in the two-week long event are ranked above Kenya. This, he said, was enough to prove that it will not be a walk in the park.
“We are still in the celebration mood after winning the AAG title and the players are in the right frame of mind. We will be hoping to build on that during the event and we hope to give our all,” he added.
He added: “I will field young players as my intention is to give them exposure and gain experience. However, we are going to use the competition as a build-up for the forthcoming continental Olympic qualifier set for early next year.”
Kenya lost to USA and Serbia during the last edition and succumbed to the Netherlands during the Intercontinental Olympic qualifiers in Italy last month.
Speaking before the team departed to Japan, Bitok confirmed he will field fast-rising Sharon Chepchumba in the right position going forward considering his performance during the African Games.
“The position is less competitive and at the same time the department requires less of reception and that suits her,” he observed. Kenya Pipeline attacker who has received offers from Turkey clubs will, however, muscle for a starting line-up against Violet Makuto and Immaculate Chemutai.
Squad—Jane Wacu, Jannet Wanja, Triza Atuka, Edith Wisa, Carolyne Sirengo and Lorine Chebet, Aggripina Kundu, Elizabeth Wanyama, Mercy Moim (captain), Leonida Kasaya and Noel Murambi, Sharon Chepchumba, Emmaculate Chemtai and Violet Makuto.