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BY SAMSON MBII,NAIROBI,3RD OCT 2018-Kenya’s Malkia strikers hopes of making it to the second round of the FIVB Women’s World Championship were dashed on Wednesday after they lost 3-0 (25-13, 25-10, 25-16) to world beaters Brazil at the 8,000-seater Hamamatsu Arena in Hamamatsu, Japan.
This is Kenya’s third defeat of the competition following straight set defeats by Serbia and Puerto Rio earlier in the week, and it extinguished all hope of finishing within the top four positions in their Pool D, which would have guaranteed them passage to the tournament’s next round.
Brazil, who are the reigning FIVB World Grand Prix champions as well as the gold medallists of both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, led from start to finish leaving no doubt about their squad strengths and superiority.
Natalia Pereira registered a match-high 12 points forthe South Americans, while Tandara Caixeta added 11 points and Carolina Da Silva had eight in the victory.
Emmaculate Chemtai was the high scorer for Kenya with nine points in the defeat.
Malkia Strikers tried hard to contain the Brazilians, but there were few rallies of note in the contest as the hard hitting Brazilians built up the margins far too quickly.
Poor reception was Kenya’s biggest problem in the first set, and Brazil repeatedly capitalized on this as they finished 25-13.
The second set was even more daunting for the African Queens, who found themselves trailing 8-2 at the first technical timeout.
They had to dig deep for courage and character but little changed in the ensuing minutes as Brazil boosted the advantage to 25-10 at the end of the match.
Kenya plays against the Dominican Republic on Thursday in the final match of the stage.
The Malkia Strikers are returning to the global competition after an eight year hiatus, and they had set qualification to the second round as their minimum target.
The competition brings together 24 teams who have been spread across four pools of six teams each.
At the group stage, the six teams will play each other in a round robin format in the first round, with the top four teams from each pool advancing to the second round.