'DON'T RULE US OUT'

Kenya battle USA as FIVB World Cup serves off in Japan today

Kenya play the Netherlands on Sunday before battling FIVB top-ranked Serbia on Monday

In Summary

•Paul Bitok recorded two wins against Peru and Algeria in 2015 and will be hoping to make a repeat performance. 

•Kenya's Africa rivals Cameroon face Russia in the opener of the other pool

Noel Murambi (L) Triza Atuka and Jane Wacu in a past match
Noel Murambi (L) Triza Atuka and Jane Wacu in a past match
Image: Courtesy

National women’s volleyball team hope to offer credible resistance against the United States despite starting as underdogs in FIVB World Cup that gets underway today at the Hamamatsu Arena in Japan.

The two teams met during the last edition in 2015, where the USA, who are ranked third in the World, won 3-0 (25-15, 25-16,25-13) against the East Africans currently ranked 20th.

The two sides meet this morning with odds favouring the USA by virtue of them being ranked above  Kenya. They have also already qualified for 2020 Olympics, unlike Kenya who will be seeking the sole slot during continental qualifiers early next year after flopping during the Intercontinental qualifier last month in Italy.

 

Middle blocker Triza Atuka said they have played the USA before and as much as an expected win for the USA is given, they are ready to give a good account of themselves.

Atuka, who was part of the 2015 team said they will be keen to improving on their 2015 performance against their opponents. The 2015 event saw Mercy Moim, Brackcidise Agala and Ruth Jep’ngetich ranked among the top 10 in best scorers, best digger and blocker respectively 

“We had a good training session in the morning today (yesterday) and we are scheduled to have another session later in the evening and so far so good. We all know we will be coming up against tough teams and we want to give our best shot in all the matches,” said the Kenya Pipeline captain.

She added: “While we will be keen to improve on the set scores against the USA, we are not afraid to dare and try to take sets from these teams. They should not rule us out because we can easily pull surprises," she added.  

Paul Bitok, who is in charge of the team that recorded two wins against Peru and Algeria in 2015,  faces Netherlands tomorrow before battling FIVB top-ranked Serbia on Monday.

Their Africa counterparts Cameroon who they defeated during the recently concluded All African Games to retain the title, have been pitted against Russia today in Yokohama.