The national women’s volleyball team has lined up two friendly matches against teams competing in the Kenya Volleyball Federation men’s league.
According to KVF technical director David Lung’aho, Friday's clash against Kenya Prisons, as well as Saturday encounter with Strathmore University will help the technical bench to gauge the players’ strength and perseverance in readiness for the upcoming FIVB World Championship in Japan.
“These players have the skills and exposure to compete against most sides at the World Championship. We are now looking to add some endurance, stamina and mental strength which has cost us in the past. That is why we want the girls to play against the men,” said Lung’aho.
On Thursday, the national team – famously known as Malkia Strikers - defeated Kenya Prisons women's team 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-16) in another build up match at the Kasarani gymnasium. The side is set to meet KVF women league champions Kenya Pipeline at the same venue Thursday morning.
“In today's (Wednesday) match, we were looking at the cohesion and coordination especially in our build-ups. These departments are okay but we still wish to improve. Our reception too has to be worked on in remaining days.”
Against Prisons, national team coach Japheth Munala offered game time to Prisons trio Doreen Chebet, Sharon Chepchumba and Christina Siwa, plus Kenya Pipeline duo Leonida Kasaya and Violet Makuto.
These five players are set to make their debut on the international stage in Japan.
Meanwhile, Kenya will set up a ten-day camp in the cities of Hitachi and Korube in Japan, to acclimatise and fine-tune ahead of the tournament which will be hosted in the cities of Hamamatsu, Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo and Yokohama.
While in Hitachi, which is home to Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga and some two hours’ drive from Tokyo, the side will face top-flight side Hitachi Rivale in three separate friendly games.
Kenya are in pooled in Group D alongside Serbia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Kazakhstan.