Volleyball: KDF silence Army to dine with the big boys
What you need to know:
- The win saw KDF dislodge former champions Kenya Prisons who were not in action, from top spot to keep their play-offs hopes alive
- KDF coach Elisha Aliwa called for a timeout and the pep talk seemed to have worked as Agrrey Kibungei, Kelvin Omuse and Benard Wechuli powerful spikes ensued they took the set 25-23
- Army coach William Wahome then rested setter Mumbo for youngster Emmanuel Kipchumba but the tactic failed to work as the unstoppable KDF led 23-16 before bagging the set 25-19
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) moved top of the table after they defeated stubborn Kenya Army 3-1 (25-23,25-18,22-25,25-22) during fifth leg of Kenya Volleyball Federation men’s National League at Nyayo National stadium, Nairobi on Friday.
The win saw KDF dislodge former champions Kenya Prisons who were not in action, from top spot to keep their play-offs hopes alive.
KDF have 28 points from 11 matches, one ahead of Prisons who have played 10 matches.
Defending champions General Service Unit are third with 24 points from eight matches.
It was a close affair in the early stages of the first set, but it was Army who took an early lead 8-6.
Impressive Kevin Wanyama and setter Godfrey Mumbo then combined well in front of the net as they the extended the lead 13-10.
Army would later lose ground as KDF rallied from behind to overtake them 15-14 and 20-18.
Elisha Kiptanui, Eugene Ochieng and Mumbo then picked quick scores as they narrowed the gap 21-22 before they forced a tie 22-22.
KDF coach Elisha Aliwa called for a timeout and the pep talk seemed to have worked as Agrrey Kibungei, Kelvin Omuse and Benard Wechuli powerful spikes ensued they took the set 25-23.
Kibungei, Omuse and Kimeli then combined well upfront as KDF led 10-7 and 12-8 in the second set.
Army then grew in the game to close the gap 13-16 thanks to Elisha Kiptanui's services.
Kibungei's individual effort was noted as he powered through leaking Army blocks to extend the lead 19-14.
Army coach William Wahome then rested setter Mumbo for youngster Emmanuel Kipchumba but the tactic failed to work as the unstoppable KDF led 23-16 before bagging the set 25-19.
KDF picked from where they left in the third set as they led 11-8 before KDF coach Aliwa rested Kibungei for Moses Macharia.
Mumbo, who was recalled then combined well with Wanyama and Kevin Wesisi as Army rallied from behind to to lead 16 -14 and 19-17.
Army held onto the lead 23-21 before they took the set 25-21 but still trailed 1-2 in set scores.
Army took a comfortable 15-9 lead in the fourth set, as KDF crumbled. Kiptanui and Wanyama, who was a fan favourite then bagged scores at will as Army extended lead 18-12 and 20-15.
KDF regrouped to close the gap 22-20 before they forced a 22-22 tie.
Kibungei then made all the difference for KDF as his tricky services won the match 25-22.
KDF coach Aliwa said they will not be overconfident despite entering the play-offs bracket.
“The win is important to us, we however need to work on our confidence and mental strength. We need to work on the reception but we are on the right track,” said Aliwa, the national men’s team trainer.
In an earlier match played at the same venue, Equity Bank defeated Administration Police (AP) 3-1(25-18,25-15,22-25,25-22).
After the loss, AP assistant coach Richard Lagat said their target is now to finish in a respectable position as the loss complicated their play-offs chances.
Saturday fixtures (All matches to be played at Nyayo)
KPA v Trailblazers 11am
Kenya Army v Vihiga 1pm
AP v GSU 3pm