NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – The national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers are poised to have a busy season when the local volleyball calendar serves off in March this year.
The 2017 Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) league is set to begin in March 3 in Malaba but without the Homa Bay leg according to the season’s calendars released Thursday.
Omission of this leg sees the overall reduction of the number of local competition to seven from eight legs last season, something that the national team players should be celebrating considering the busy and demanding schedule that waits.
The first trip outside the country for most of the players will come in form of club assignment in the April’s Africa Club championship to be hosted in Tunisia.
A win for any Kenyan team will see them make another trip to Japan for the World Club Cup championship to be held from May 7-14.
Between July 7th and 30th, Malkia Strikers will be on the road again to the FIVB World Grand Prix. August 4-16 will host the Africa Nations Championship at a venue yet to be confirmed with FIVB World Championship Qualifiers for both men and women’s coming in September in addition to the local league which serves off in two months time.
Locally, the second and third legs will take place in April in Nanyuki and Eldoret respectively.
Homa Bay hosted league matches in the last two seasons but was chopped off the calendar this time round, forcing the Federation to temporarily cut down the number of legs to seven.
Last year there were eight legs in the calendar though talks are still ongoing with potential sponsors to take up this leg.
If all goes well, Volleyball fans from Kericho County will once again have the chance to watch top volleyball action in the county with the federation still willing to draft the leg in its already busy calendar.
Kericho last hosted a successful national volleyball league in 2014 at the Kericho Teachers’ College.
“There are a few logistics we are still working on and should everything go as planned, then I will draft it (Kericho leg) in the calendar, ” Ismael Chege, KVF fixtures secretary said after releasing this year’s calendar that also has the Africa Nations Champions and World Champions for senior national women’s team and World under 23 championship for junior Malkia Strikers.
Homa Bay with its cruel weather and scorching sun has been a tough outing for most teams though it is one of the legs which usually give a clear view of who is most like to move to the playoff. Last season, Nairobi Water stunned Kenya Defence Forces (Ulinzi) at Homa Bay Boys’ ground to book an early and maiden playoff.
With the drop of one leg, that league will now serve off in March as opposed to last season which started in February.
The opening leg is set for March 3-5 in Malaba. “With only seven legs, the league will now start in March because we can’t have two legs in a month,” added Chege.
National playoff will once again return to the coastal city of Mombasa which successfully hosted the last three editions.