NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – Kenya Pipeline and men’s Kenya Prisons warmed up for the national volleyball playoffs with wins in Eldama Ravine on Sunday.
If the performances during the Baringo County Government volleyball tournament where Pipeline registered their first win of the season against rivals Kenya Prisons to bag the first trophy this year is anything to go by, Pipeline and men’s Kenya Prisons, would be crowned the new Kenya Volleyball Federation women’s and men’s champions, at least if they sustain that form until November 25th.
Interestingly, the tournament attracted only the top eight elite clubs that have booked playoff berth and it gave both the fans and players what they should expect in Mombasa.
The duo sent a strong signal to the other six teams; Nairobi Water, Prisons and KCB (women), Kenya Ports Authority (men) and even the defending champions when they took the bragging rights in Ravine with about a month to the national championship.
Winner of the playoff which is set for between November 25-27 in Makande Hall, Mombasa will book automatic ticket to the 2017 Africa club champions.
Pipeline registered their first ever win against Prisons this season when they came from behind to humble 2013 national champions, 3-1 (17-25,26-24,27-25,25-22) while Prisons saw off the paramilitary side 3-1 (19-25,25-12,25-19,25-12) to lift the last trophy of the regular circuit.
The first time Pipeline and Prisons met in a tournament was during the AMACO international tournament where they lost 3-2 to the wardresses in the final.
The petroleum girls took advantage of the absence of three Kenya Prisons players; Mercy Moim out on professional stint in Europe and the injured duo of Evelyne Makuto and Loice Jepkosgei – to send the message to the rest that they must at least double their effort if they have to take the title away from Industrial Area.
The surprise win came just a day after Prisons beat them by three sets to one in the last league match held at the same venue last Friday. Prisons are desperate to win their first title since 2013 while Japheth Munala will be under pressure to prove that his last two successes were not a fluke.
Prisons crashed national playoff debutants Nairobi Water by identical sets ( 18-25,25-18,25-14,25-23) to book a date with their law enforcing colleagues who knocked off KPA by three sets to on (17-25,25-22,25-21,25-21) to sail to the final. The women’s race which also attracted KCB and Water was held in a round robin format.
-By Elvince Joshua