What you need to know:
- Kenya is in Pool ‘A’ alongside the hosts, European and VNL champions Italy, Belgium, Puerto Rico and Cameroon.
- Luizomar is targeting wins against the latter two and noted that the Canada friendly offered some insights on what to expect against Puerto Rico.
In Apeldoorn, the Netherlands
Kenya Wednesday lost to Canada in straight sets (25-23, 25-16, 25-15) in their last pre-World Championships friendly match at Omnisport Stadium at Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.
Coach Luizomar de Moura's charges put up a brave fight against the Canadians who are fresh from finishing 12th in this year’s Volleyball Nations League.
With a 35 per cent efficiency in attack, star opposite Sharon Chepchumba led Kenya with 14 points made up of nine kills, two blocks and three aces.
Skipper Mercy Moim, her assistant Noel Murambi, middle blocker Lorine Chebet and setter Emmaculate Nekesa all added five points each as coach Luizomar winded up preparations for their Friday opener against Netherlands in Arnhem.
Despite the loss, the Brazilian coach was impressed by Kenya’s performance having pushed the Canadians to commit errors which led to 15 points for his side.
Attack was Kenya's strongest department contributing 26 points while two aces apiece from Moim and Chebet brought the points from services to eight.
“I am really happy with the team performance today against a Canadian team that a month ago was playing in the VNL. They are a better team and were playing at a higher level while we were just training and playing friendly matches,” said Luizomar.
“It was a good test for us since it showed us some mistakes we need to work on before our first match. For example in the first set, it was very tight at the end but we made mistakes in service and reception which handed them the win. We are going to review the video with the players and work on this in training,” he added.
Kenya is in Pool ‘A’ alongside the hosts, European and VNL champions Italy, Belgium, Puerto Rico and Cameroon.
Luizomar is targeting wins against the latter two and noted that the Canada friendly offered some insights on what to expect against Puerto Rico.
“Both of them are from the same confederation so it’s almost a similar school of volleyball. It really gives us insights on what to expect against Puerto Rico and also Cameroon. It’s important that the players understand how to transfer the responsibility of making errors to the opponents especially in high pressure games,” said Luizomar.
Canada coach Shannon Winzer was elated after her charges showed competition shape after unconvincing performances in friendly matches against France, Colombia, Argentina, Belgium and Japan during their training camp.
“We didn’t have good form in the preparation phase but today we showed how good we can be especially when we engage our opposite when playing in system as well as in transition,” offered Winzer.
She also backed Kenya to be among the top four teams to qualify for the second round from the tricky Pool ‘A’.
“The Kenyan team has very strong hitters and showed great athleticism. They were able to pull off some big plays and are an exciting team to watch,” she added.
Kenya will on Thursday train at the match venue, Gelredome Arnhem ahead of the opening match against the hosts on Friday.
Line-up against Canada
Mercy Moim (captain), Noel Murambi, Edith Wisa, Lorine Chebet, Sharon Chepchumba, Emmaculate Nekesa
Libero - Aggripina Kundu