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Tough road ahead for victorious Kenyan team

Kenya’s triumph at the just concluded 2015 Women’s Africa Nations Volleyball Championship has provided a fresh opportunity for the Malkia Strikers to compete against the world’s top volleyball nations.

The national women team easily clinched the continental title for a record ninth time at the Safaricom Indoor Arena on Sunday evening with straight set victories over Botswana, Mauritius, Cameroon and Algeria.

This team should, however, expect stiffer competition on the international front, a stage they have consistently struggled to win matches.

Coach David Lung’aho however remains optimistic of an improved performance.

“The difference this time round is that we have experienced players in our ranks who have been playing in Europe. We are confident and in good shape and we certainly have a better chance this time round,” Lung’aho said.

BASK IN GLORY

The team will however have little time to bask in their latest glory as they leave the country on Tuesday for Mexico, and later Algeria, to compete in the 2015 FIVB Grand Prix.

Kenya, which is placed 19th on the FIVB rankings, will play against Peru (23), Mexico (27), Colombia (30), Algeria (25) and Australia (46) at the two-week competition.

After the Grand Prix, the team’s next assignment will be the FIVB World Cup in August, followed by the All Africa Games set for Congo Brazzaville in September.

Kenya made an impressive Grand Prix debut last year ended with victories over Mexico, Algeria and Australia. The national team has however fallen short on all the other occasions it has featured in international tournaments.

Kenya finished last in the previous edition of the World Cup held four years ago, a ranking that was complimented by embarrassing losses to Germany, Brazil, Serbia, USA and South Korea.

The situation wasn’t any better in 2007 when Kenya again lost out in straight sets to Poland, USA, Brazil, Cuba, Italy, Japan and South Korea.