Lausanne, Switzerland, July 25, 2014 – Kenya defeated
fellow newcomers Mexico in a four-setter (25-18, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22) in Pool Q
and stand as the only debutant survivors on opening day of the Intercontinental
Round of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix on Friday.
Kenyan hitter Mercy Moim topped all scorers with 22 points from 20 attacks and two blocks. Mexican captain Claudia Rios charted 15 points.
Kenya coach David Lungaho was happy with the victory but commended the efforts of their opponents, especially Lizbeth Sainz, who notched 14 points for the losing side.
“We are thrilled to debut in a major international event with a victory,” Lungaho said. “The team gained a lot of confidence to look forward to what lies ahead of them. I believe Mexico as hosts had more pressure, which could have affected their performance, but they are very aggressive and I especially liked how Lizbeth Sainz performed.”
In other matches, Poland and Peru came up with victories in Pool J. Poland defeated Belgium 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21), while Peru trounced Canada in another four-setter (25-21, 25-18, 25-27, 25-16). In Pool K, Netherlands and Puerto Rico completed easy straight-set wins over Cuba and Argentina, respectively. Netherlands took advantage of a very young Cuban side for a 3-0 success (25-11, 25-13, 25-20), while Puerto Rico used their home advantage to upset the Argentines (25-22, 25-18, 25-22).
In Group 3, Czech Republic defeated Croatia 3-1 (32-30, 25-21, 19-25, 25-20), while hosts Kazakhstan pulled off a straight-set (25-21, 25-16, 25-16) win over Australia in Pool P. The see-saw fight of Algeria and Bulgaria in Pool Q were decided in a thrilling five-setter, where the latter emerged as winners (25-15, 22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 19-17).
· The 16 teams in Groups 2 and 3 opened their campaigns in the 2014 World Grand Prix season.
· Out of the five debutants that played on opening day, only one team came up with a victory.
· Sophomores Czech Republic made another opening day win over Croatia this season, they won their opener against Puerto Rico last year.
· Kazakhstan snapped their four first-match losing streak with their victory over newcomers Australia.
· The last four matches of Netherlands and Cuba all resulted in a Dutch win, the last three were won in straight sets; Cuba are now on a 15-match losing streak.
· Poland and Belgium got a 1-1 draw in their matches this year, they last met was in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship Qualifier, where the latter won in straight sets.
· Bulgaria have earned their first opening match win, while Algeria produced their first two-set victories in the World Grand Prix.
· Peru got a positive start in their third appearance in the World Grand Prix with a 3-1 win over Canada to record their second victory in 19 matches.
· Puerto Rico improved their 3-1 win over Argentina in their 2012 encounter to a straight sets win this year.
· Mexico and Kenya made history in the World Grand Prix
as two debutants to play their very first match against each other.
24 – Aneta Havlickova of Czech Republic v Croatia (July 25)
24 – Lise Van Hecke of Belgium v Poland (July 25)
Top Blocking Performances
6 – Lyudmila Anarbayeva of Kazakhstan v Australia (July 25)
Top Blocking Performances by Team
15 - Poland v Belgium (July 25)
Top Serving Performances
4 – Teresa Vanzurova (Czech Republic) v Croatia (July 25)
4 – Andrea Urrutia (Peru) v Canada (July 25)
Top Serving Performances by Team
12 – Peru v Canada (July 25)
Highest Scorer by Round
Week 1: 24 – Aneta Havlickova of Czech Republic v Croatia (July 25); 24 – Lise Van Hecke of Belgium v Poland (July 25)
Highest Set Score
Week 1: Croatia v Czech Republic, 30-32 (July 25)
Highest Scoring Matches
Week 1: Algeria v Bulgaria (July 25) (15-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-23, 17-19) – 214 points
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