Kenya's Mildred Odwako looks for answers
Tokyo, November 5, 2006: World No. 8 Korea booked a ticket to Nagoya for the second round of the FIVB World Championships by sweeping 11th-ranked Kenya 3-0 in Pool A on Sunday afternoon.
Korea had suffered three straight defeats since beating Costa Rica on opening day, but this second victory -- by 25-13, 25-13, 25-12 -- was enough to finish fourth behind Chinese Taipei, Japan and Poland.
Kenya (0-5) and Costa Rica (1-4) were both eliminated from the 24-team competition.
The Koreans shook off the disappointment of losing the previous evening to Japan by storming to the first set 25-13 in 18 minutes.
Southpaw spiker Hwang Youn-Joo scored seven of those points, including five spikes, and Han Song-Yi was close behind on five, including the last two points of the set -- a flashing winner on the left to bring up set point at 24-13, and then a block on Lucy Chege.
In reply, Kenya captain Dorcas Ndasaba and middle blocker Jacky Barasa both scored three points, but it was tough going at the net against Korea's Jung Dae-Young.
One of the most eye-catching spikes in the Korean repertoire came from Kim Ji-Hyun when she glided round setter and captain Kim Sa-Nee to pound the ball into space on the right.
The Koreans stayed on top in the second set and reached the first TTO ahead by five at 8-3. Despite some acrobatic defence which brought gasps from the spectators, the Kenyans needed a TO when falling behind 11-4.
Han Song-Yi was in top form on this day, and Kim Ji-Hyun kept the Kenyan block busy with her well-timed runs off setter Kim.
The Kenyans were making too many mistakes, especially on serve, and this allowed Korea to open up a 10-point cushion at the second technical break.
When captain Ndasaba slammed the ball into the net to leave Korea in the clear at 21-8, Kenya's Japanese head coach, Sadatoshi Sugawara, hauled his team off for their second and final TO of the set. The break worked well for power spiker Catherine Wanjiru, who blasted through the Korean block to spark a mini-revival. Ndasaba followed with a whiplash winner into the corner, but the gap was too big and Korea took the second set 25-13 when Janet Wanja served into the net.
Korea maintained their dominance in the third set. Hwang's cross-court spikes were too hot to handle, and 16-year-old Bae Yoo-Na, one of the brightest prospects in Asian volleyball, also scored consistently to keep Kenya pegged back.
Korea led by six at the second technical break, and the agile ground defence of libero Kim Hae-Ran cut off many attacks the Africans mounted. In contrast, there were too many gaps on the other side of the net which the Koreans were quick to exploit.
Han Soo-Ji took the Asians closer to their goal with a block point, and Han Song-Yi brought up match point at 24-11. The same player finished it at the net 25-12 for 3-0.