Luizomar urges caution after Kenya shock Serbia B

Operating like a well-oiled machine, Malkia Strikers Sunday thrashed Serbia B 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-11) in their last pre-World Championships friendly match here in Belgrade, Serbia.

From services, reception, attack and blocking, all departments worked smoothly.

It was the perfect response from Kenya after going down by a similar margin to Serbian champions on Saturday but head coach Luizomar de Moura insists his team is nowhere near the finished product.

Kenya will be seeking to reach the second round at the World Championships for the first time in the Netherlands and the statistics from Sunday’s rout of Serbia B were as encouraging as they were convincing ahead of their Friday opener against the host nation.

While he was impressed by the performance on Sunday, Luizomar has urged his charges not to get carried away saying they are still work in progress.

“We can see from the two friendly matches in Serbia that the team is showing different volleyball now. This is what the players need to understand, that they need to bring their best to every match,” stated Luizomar.

“In our team we will be having players participating in World Championships for the first time and others will be getting their first cap. We have a young team with some experienced players. It will be a tough challenge to play at the World Championships. We are improving but there are many areas that we still need to work on. We want to build a new legacy for Kenyan volleyball, so we still have a long journey ahead of us,” he preached caution.

Against Serbia B, the experienced quartet of skipper Mercy Moim, her assistant Noel Murambi, opposite Sharon Chepchumba and Edith Wisa all led from the front registering double digits. Chepchumba returned a game-high 33 points, Moim added 19 points while Murambi and Wisa had 16 and 14 points respectively.

Luizomar was happy that his senior players showed maturity at key moments in the game.

“The biggest difference from Saturday’s result was we made less mistakes and this is very important as we move closer to the main competition. It’s important to know when and where to make important decisions during the match. It’s good that players are becoming more confident during such moments,” assessed Luizomar.

“I expect this team to keep fighting and show a new volleyball spirit to the volleyball community.”

Kenya will face European sides namely Netherlands, Italy and Belgium in the first round of the World Championships as well as Cameroon and Puerto Rico.

Luizomar noted that the two friendly matches in Serbia, organised by Malkia Strikers sponsors Mozzart Bet, has placed the team in good stead of facing European opponents.

“We played against a great European school of volleyball which is the level we will find at the World Championships. Most of the Kenyan players that played today are almost the same age so it’s a good sign that they can compete with them. This performance will give us more confidence because our opponents will know this is a completely different Kenyan side,” observed the Brazilian coach.

Kenya will leave Serbia for the Netherlands Tuesday afternoon, on time for their Pool ‘A’ opener against the hosts in Arnhem on Friday.

Kenya line up against Serbia B

Mercy Moim (captain), Noel Murambi, Edith Wisa, Lorine Chebet, Emmaculate Nekesa, Sharon Chepchumba, Aggripina Kundu (libero)


Veronica Adhiambo, Gladys Ekaru, Yvonne Wavinya (libero), Veronica Kilabat, Belinda Barasa, Violet Makuto, Meldine Sande

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