Poor reception costs Kenya Grand Prix opener against Peru

27 June 2015

Angela Leyva contributed 22 points for Peru to subject Kenya to a 3-0 (25-18 , 25-12, 25-23) lose in their opening world Grand Prix match Saturday morning at the Unido Nuevo Leon Gimnasio in Monterrey, Mexico.


Poor reception was Kenya's main undoing in this match despite the east Africa boasting of Elizabeth Wanyama, Africa's best receiver. This was Kenya's first lose to Peru at the Grand Prix and their fourth in seven games since their debut last year


Kenya's Evelyn Makuti who was voted Africa's Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the Africa Nations Championship last week in Nairobi was Kenya's top scorer with 11 points.


This was the third victory for Peru against Kenya which has struggled to post any meaningful result at the international level despite dominating the continental scene with nine titles out of 10 appearances at the Nations championship finals.


Prior to the match, Peru, though ranked four places below Kenya in the world pecking order (23) had beaten Kenya (19) in 1995 and 2007 world Cup with their latest triumph against Malkia Strikers being the 1998 World Championship.


Coach David Lung’aho started with his experienced side in the opening set, with Mercy Moim and Africa's MVP, Evelyne Makuto as outside hitters while Esther Wangeci started ahead of Lydia Maiyo on the opposite with Africa's best blocker, Ruth Jepng’etich and captain Praxcides Agala combining for the blocks. The starting lineup also had Africa's best setter and libero, Jane Wacu and Elizabeth Wanyama respectively.


Peru were not cowed by the titles from across the net when they grabbed the first set 25-18 forcing Lung'aho to make changes into his squad following poor back court defense after Wanyama failed to collect chance balls.


Kenya however tried staging a comeback in the set recovering from a 13-20 to push the scores to 18-20 but the pressure was too much for the newly crowned Africa champions after Peru stopped them before winning the set 25-18 before grabbing the subsequent set 25-12.



In the third set the Kenyan team came in with much composure and determination staging a powerful comeback having trailed 15 -07 to lead Peru 19-17 but a few avoidable errors brought the opponents back into the game, when they took a 21-19 lead before winding up the match with a 25-23 to grab their three points.


Kenya will next play hosts Mexico tonight in their second match before winding up their Mexican trip with a clash against Colombia.




By Elvince Joshua from Kenya




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