Hamamatsu, Japan, October 1, 2018 - Daly Santana starred for Puerto Rico in a hardfought 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-15) victory over Kenya in Pool D play at the FIVB Women's World Championship on Monday afternoon.
Santana racked up a match-high 18 points, while teammate Stephanie Enright totaled 13 in the win.
Mercy Moim led Kenya with 11 points in the loss.
Puerto Rico prevailed in the contest via a stronger attack and superior defense. Kenya played well at times, but could not sustain it for any long period.
The opening set was a competitive one that was highlighted by quick points in the first half. There were very few rallies to speak of. Puerto Rico held the lead for most of the seat until Kenya's Noel Murambi tied the score at 13-13 with a crosscourt spike. Puer
scored three of the next four points and led 16-14 at the second TTO. Puerto Rico's wing spikers were proficient on attack. Kenya leveled at 19-19 but was unable to take the lead and Puerto Rico grabbed the set 25-20.
Kenya had increasing problems with reception in the second set as Puerto Rico continued to pound away on attack. The Puerto Ricans were ahead 8-6 at the first TTO and appeared in control, but the momentum soon changed. Kenya pulled ahead 11-10 on a nice block by Edith Mukuvilani and stretched the lead to 16-13 on a spike by Murambi as the Puerto Rico players seemed to tire. Kenya was up 19-15 and looked on their way to winning the set, before Puerto Rico stormed back to level at 20-20 and then went ahead 21-20 on a flying spike by Enright and went on to claim the set 25-22.
Puerto Rico assumed a 9-4 lead in the third set as Kenya appeared deflated after their surge in the second set. The Puerto Ricans took a commanding 16-8 lead at the second TTO and cruised to claim the set and match 25-15.
Both teams entered the match with 1-1 records.