Kenya coach De Moura ready for Italian job

Luizomar de Moura

Kenya's coach Luizomar de Moura (right) reacts on the touchline during their FIVB World Championships Pool A match against Cameroon at Gelredome arena in Arnhem, Netherlands on September 27, 2022.

Photo credit: Samuel Gacharira | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Against Italy, Kenya will be coming up against some of the best players in the world namely Paola Egonu, Christina Chirichella, Miryam Sylla and Caterina Bosetti.
  • Luizomar said it’s a special occasion for Kenya to face such high level opponents and called on his players to gauge themselves against the superior Italians.

In Amsterdam

Malkia Strikers coach Luizomar de Moura has urged his charges to bring their 'A' game against Italy on Thursday despite being the underdogs against the European and Volleyball Nations League (VNL) champions.

Italy are still unbeaten in the competition and have nine points after beating Cameroon, Puerto Rico and Belgium in their first three matches.

Malkia Strikers are fourth with three points after getting their first win against Cameroon on Tuesday night. They have lost their other matches against Netherlands and Belgium in straight sets.

Against Italy, Kenya will be coming up against some of the best players in the world namely Paola Egonu, Christina Chirichella, Miryam Sylla and Caterina Bosetti.

 FIVB World Championships

Italy players celebrate a point during their FIVB World Championships Pool A match against Belgium at Gelredome arena in Arnhem, Netherlands on September 27, 2022.

Photo credit: Samuel Gacharira | Nation Media Group

Luizomar said it’s a special occasion for Kenya to face such high level opponents and called on his players to gauge themselves against the superior Italians.

“I want them to enjoy the Italy game because it’s a great opportunity for them to experience this high level. It’s Important that we face such teams to know where we are and continue our learning process. They are far away from us but we need to dream to be there one day,” said Luizomar.

“Our players need to be happy and pick positive things when playing against big players like Egonu, Chirichella, Bosetti.”  

Kenyan skipper Mercy Moim noted that morale is at an all-time high following their win against Cameroon and the team will engage a higher gear in their remaining matches against Italy and Puerto Rico.

Malkia Strikers

Malkia Strikers players celebrate a point during their FIVB World Championships Pool A match against Cameroon at Gelredome arena in Arnhem, Netherlands on September 27, 2022.

Photo credit: Samuel Gacharira | Nation Media Group

“What we planned worked well and players were focused. Our attack and reception was good, and generally everything worked well,” said Moim of the 3-0 win over Cameroon.

“Morale is high and we have to keep the same spirit for the next match. We have two more matches to go so we have to focus and think about Italy and Puerto Rico. The Italy game is going to be difficult but we believe in ourselves. We have one mission here which is to qualify for the second round.”

Italy coach Davide Mazzanti is expected to rest some of his key players having already sealed a place in the second round.  

Expected Line-ups

Kenya

Mercy Moim, Veronica Adhiambo, Gladys Ekaru, Edith Wisa, Sharon Chepchumba, Emmaculate Nekesa, Aggripina Kundu (libero)
 
Italy

Elena Pietrini, Miryam Sylla, Anna Danesi, Chirichella Cristina, Paola Egonu, Orro Alessia, Monica de Gennaro (libero)

Thursday's Pool A fixture (all Kenyan time)

Italy v Kenya (7pm, Gelredome arena)

Puerto Rico v Cameroon (10pm, Gelredome arena)

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