A magnificent performance by Mercy Moim led Kenya to a historic straight sets victory (25-23, 25-22, 25-21) over Kazakhstan in Pool D at the FIVB Women’s World Championship on Saturday night. This was Kenya’s first ever victory at the world stage.

The wing spiker posted a match-high 24 points in the win over Kenya’s higher ranked opponents.

Edith Mukuvilani added 10 points for Kenya in the impressive triumph.

Sana Anarkulova led Kazakhstan in the defeat with 11 points.

The Kenyans displayed greater energy and togetherness throughout the contest, while Kazakhstan was unable to sustain any rhythm. Kenya came up with key points when they needed to time after time during the match.

Kenya played a fine all-around game from start to finish to emerge with the victory.

Kazakhstan established a 12-6 lead in the first set behind a fierce attack. Kenya dug in and fought back to cut the deficit to 12-9 and Kazakhstan took a timeout. The tactic did not work, however, as Kenya ran off three more points to equalize at 12-12.

The Kazakhs struggled with blocking and made unforced errors that allowed Kenya to claw back. Christine Psiwa soared for a spike that gave Kenya set point at 24-23, and the Kenyans closed out the set 25-23.

Kenya’s inspired play was bolstered by a strong attack and timely defense. Moim had nine points in the opening set for Kenya.

Kenya picked up where they left off in the second set, moving out to a 5-0 lead before Kazakhstan got on the board. Kenya led 8-4 at the first team time out after a Kazak serve went into the net. Kazakhstan made a run in the set, coming within a point at 13-12, but after Moim soared for another spike, Kenya was in front 16-13 at the second Time Out.

The Kenyans continued to do a good job of finding holes in the Kazakh defense during the set. A crosscourt spike by Emmaculate Chemtai gave Kenya set point at 24-20 and they took the set 25-22 when she came up with a big block.

Kazakhstan began to put up resistance in the third set, taking an 8-5 lead at the first team time out behind some good blocking. But Kenya kept is close and equalized 10-10 on a block by Moim, before pulling ahead 13-12 on a block by Noel Murambi.

Kenya led 16-14 at the second Team Time Out and kept the momentum to finish it off 25-21.

Kenya’s next matches

1. Kenya vs Serbia 30/9/2018
2. Puerto Rico vs Kenya 1/10/2018
3. Kenya vs Brazil 3/10/2018
4. Domican Republica vs Kenya 4/10/2018­

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