NAIROBI, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Nine-time African champions Kenya are out to qualify for the second round of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship that kicks off in Japan next Saturday (Sept. 29).
Speaking ahead of their departure from Nairobi on Thursday evening, head coach Japheth Munala is targeting at least two victories in their Pool B to advance past the preliminary stage of the competition they are returning for the first time since 2010.
"Our strategy is to go for victory against Puerto Rico, Kazakhstan and Dominican Republic and try to contain Brazil and Serbia who are world powers. We are not going to underrate any side, every game will be like a final to us," Munala stressed.
He explained the team prepared for the worlds by taking on male sides to help them fortify their strength as they seek to make an impact at the global showpiece.
Experienced left attacker Mercy Moim who plays for Azerrail Baku in Azerbaijan, will captain the side that features setters Jane Wacu and Janet Wanja who competed at the 2010 showpiece.
Reigning African best blocker Edith Wisah of Kenya Prisons, will play middle role alongside Trizah Atuka of Kenya Pipeline, Lorine Chebet (Prisons) and Christine Siwa (KCB).
Moim will partner with Noel Murambi (Pipeline), Sharon Chepchumba (Prisons) and Leonida Kasaya (KCB) in left attacking.
Right attackers are Violet Makuto and Emmaculate Chemtai while Elizabeth Wanyama and Agripina Kundu will play libero.
Chepchumba, who was voted Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association's Most Valuable Player in 2017 and Chebet, all formerly of Kwathanze Girls Secondary School, are the surprise inclusions.
Kenya will play their opener against Kazakhstan (Sept. 29) before locking horns with Serbia the next day, with Puerto Rico, Brazil and Dominican Republic following in that order on Oct. 1, 3 and 4.
Kenya missed the last world championships held in Italy in 2014 after making their debut in 1994, and having competed in the worlds in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 at the height of their supremacy over Africa.
This year's competition, to run for 21 days, will be held in the cities of Yokohama, Hamamatsu, Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka and Sapporo. Enditem