Pipeline bounce back in style as Prisons run out of steam

Kenya Pipeline

Kenya Pipeline players celebrate with the title after winning the Kenya Volleyball Federation women's Premier League on January 22, 2023 at the Kasarani Indoor Arena.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • KCB coach Japheth Munala said his team's future was bright. The team last won the title in 2007.
  • "We have a chance to regroup. Expect to see a different team next season which will cause upsets,” he said.

As Kenya Pipeline savour their hard-fought national women’s volleyball title, the downward spiral of giants Kenya Prisons is raising concern.

Resilient Pipeline, who came from a set down, bravely fought off an onslaught by bitter foes KCB Women’s Volleyball Team and prevailed 3-1 (18-25, 25-22,25-19,26-24) in the title deciding Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) National play-offs match.

Pipeline, who last won the league title in 2017, had to go all out to stop their formidable opponents, who are also the African Clubs Championship title holders at Kasarani indoor arena on Sunday.

Immediate former champions Prisons, who finished third, were a pale shadow of themselves.

For a team which has been a force reckon with nine league titles under their belt (2008,2009,2010,2011,2012, 2013,2018,2019, and 2021) in recent history, Prisons failed to sparkle.

They struggled against relatively new Directorate of Criminal Investigation 3-2 (18-25,30-28,21-25,25-18 and 15-11) in the third place play-offs.

Prisons gave little resistance to Pipeline and KCB — a clear indication that all is not well.

Depleted side

To add salt to injury, Prisons who have been regulars at the African Clubs Championship, failed to automatically qualify for the event after missing out on the two direct slots at the play-offs.

If the team wants to participate, it will need to make a request through the federation.

The venue and dates of the continental competition will be announced after completion of the bidding process.

"We are a depleted side and you saw how I struggled with substitutions. Though most of our players are away on maternity leave, it is not an excuse. It was not a good show, but at least we finished on the podium. Most of our players are experienced, but we are planning to get more young players. I hope we will be better in the coming seasons," said Prisons coach Josp Barasa.

Prisons’ captain Brackcides Agala put aside her “aging tag” to win the Best Receiver’s award.

Despite finishing last, DCI made a statement after pushing KCB and Prisons to five-set thrillers.

DCI were motivated prior to the play-offs after Kenya Police Service employed all the 14 players.

"We lacked experience but we gave a good account of ourselves. We hope to maintain this squad which is relatively young. I believe next season the players will have come of age. We will be challenging for the title because I believe it's about time after competing in the play-offs three times consecutively, “explained DCI coach Daniel Bor.

DCI's Sarah Nakhulicha emerged the Best Attacker.

Pipeline, who had won the league title four times in a row (2014,2015,2016 and 2017) before surrendering it to Prisons in 2018, were a joy to watch.

Fast-rising Pamela Adhiambo, who was a fans’ favourite’, was voted the Most Valuable Player.

"We beat KCB at their own game. We knew what to do. KCB always begin the first set with massive energy, but they don’t maintain the momentum and we capitalised on that. Our focus now is on the African Club Championship. We want to reach the final after finishing third last year, “said Pipeline coach Paul Gitau.

KCB coach Japheth Munala said his team's future was bright. The team last won the title in 2007.

"We have a chance to regroup. Expect to see a different team next season which will cause upsets,” he said.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.