NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – Celestine Nyongesa, Edinah Mwombe and Joan Muindi will make their Africa Club Championships debut for Kenya Pipeline next week in Tunisia after making the cut in the 14 member squad named by head coach Japheth Munala Friday evening.
Munala unveiled a strong side that will be chasing their first continental title in over a decade but without experienced players; libero Mildred Odwako and Gaudencia Makokha.
Nyongesa, a libero and left attacker Mwombe made their names with the national under-23 team that qualified to the forthcoming World Championship after finishing second to Egypt early this year.
Nyongesa took the place of veteran Odwako from the traveling squad that also has the reigning Kenya Volleyball Federation League Most Valuable Player and team captain Triza Atuka, her assistant Noel Murambi and veteran setter Janet Wanja.
With the exclusion of Odwako, Wanja is now the most experienced player in the Pipeline squad. Sadly though, no player in the rank has ever lifted this trophy with Pipeline.
The closest Pipeline has ever come to winning Africa’s most prestigious club competition in the last decade was in 2015 where they lost in the final and finished third last year.
“If there is any stressful moment for a coach, it is during club championship,” said Munala who joined Pipeline in 2011.
“This trophy has eluded me since 2011. I hope God will give it to me this time round because I have done everything with players. I hope we will do well in Tunisia,” the coach added during his final touches with his squad at Kasarani.
Mwombe, younger sister to Esther Mwombe of Kenya Prisons will be deployed on the left while Muindi replaced Veronica TanuI and she will be assisting Wanja in the same position.
The team is expected to departure for Tunisia over the weekend.
Kenya Prisons will be the other Kenyan representatives.
Noel Murambi, Leonidas Kasaya, Celestine Nyongesa, Monica Biama, Naomi Too, Edinah Muombe, Joan Muindi , Yvonne Synaida, Beldine Akinyi, Triza Atuka, Janet Wanja, Esther Wangeci, Agripina Kundu, Violet Makuto
Head coach-Japheth Munala
Assistant –Margaret Indakhala
-By Elvince Joshua-