Malkia Strikers on verge of Commonwealth elimination
On Monday, the national beach volleyball team Malkia Strikers were defeated 2-0 by Canada in a 2022 Commonwealth Games Pool A encounter staged at Smithfield in Birmingham, England.
The straight sets loss of 21-15 and 21-5 lives Kenya, represented by the duo of Gaudencia Makokha and Brackcides Agala, on the brink of elimination from the global games; this is after the team also lost by straight sets to New Zealand in the first pool game played on Saturday.
Salome Wanjala’s charges will now have to win their final group game against African rivals Ghana, set for Wednesday at the same venue if they are to qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the two best third-placed teams.
Kenya is making its beach volleyball debut at this year’s games same as Ghana who will play New Zealand later on Monday hoping to fair better than their fellow Africans and register their first win.
The Kenyan queens started the daunting task against Gold medalists from four years ago Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes eager for an upset as they went back and forth early in the opening set and at one time had the game close at 8:7.
Right defender Agala was a leading light in the tie as she converted the majority of her attacks (8) in the set. The Canadians however would show why they are the defending champions as they created daylight in the stanza to win 21:15.
The second set would be more straightforward for the North Americans with Agala and Makokha seeming to have run out of gas after an explosive start to the game.
Kenya had a total of 28 attacks with ten of them being successful. The duo, which is ranked third in the continent, also tallied two points from blocks and seven from errors forced.