Malkia Strikers have eyes set on the ball

Malkia Striker’s libero Agrippina Kundu receives the ball during their Olympic group match against South Korea on Wednesday in Tokyo. [FIVB]

It could have been better. More money. More happiness. More hope and focus.

As it is, the Kenya national women’s volleyball team is said to be in need. In need of more money in their training base at Osasco volleyball Club in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Despite facing financial constraints, Malkia Strikers are determined to stun their opponents in the World Championship slated for September 23 to October 13 in the Netherlands and Poland.
The team, which has been camping in Brazil for the last one month, is said to be in financial crisis as only Sh44,000 has been given to each player since they arrived in Brazil.

However, Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) First Vice President Charles Nyaberi has assured the team that things will get better.
The team is expected back on September 5 before flying to Serbia for more build-up matches from September 12 to 19, before heading to The Netherlands for the World Championships between September 20 to October 16.

The team’s head coach Paul Bitok said the squad has shown great improvement in their one-month camp in Brazil.
“We have played seven friendly matches here in Brazil and great achievement has been seen in the players,” said the coach after they played their seventh match against Taubate on Saturday.

They lost 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 7-15).
“Generally, the team is more determined to achieve great things. We are now good at the beginning, but finishing last points seems to be our weakness,” said the coach.
“We had great improvement in receptions as well as blocking, with the middle players coordinating well with the wing players.”

Malkia Strikers are set to travel to Serbia for more build-up matches before heading to Poland where they will be based during the global showpiece.

Malkia are in Brazil courtesy of FIVB’s Empowerment Program that helps teams prepare for the World Championships, which will be jointly hosted by the Netherlands and Poland from September 23 to October 15.

Kenya are in group A that has European champions Italy, hosts Netherlands, Belgium, Puerto Rico and Cameroon.
The Program aims to improve the performance of national volleyball teams around the world on the human and technical resources needed to unlock their potential.
This is done by assigning teams some of the best coaches, trainers, physiotherapists and data analysts.


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