What you need to know:
- In the fourth set, GSU opened a slim 15-14 lead after both teams tied 10-10, 12-12 in the initial stages as Misiko impressed with his well oiled spikes.
- KPA overtook their opponents to lead 17-15 and 20-19, but GSU regrouped to overtook their opponents 23-21 before they bagged the set 25-23 and the win 3-1.
General Service Unit (GSU) defeated vibrant Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 3-1 (27-25,20-25,27-25,25-23) to retain their men’s Kenya Volleyball Federation National League play-offs title for a fifth time in a row at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Sunday.
Earlier on, newcomers TrailBlazers shocked 2016 champions Kenya Prisons 3-0 (25-23,25-19,25-21) to finish third in the four team event.
With the results, GSU and KPA booked automatic tickets to the next year’s African Clubs Championships and will be joined by the newbies the Blazers on invitational basis.
Prisons assistant coach Ibrahim Odour was at pains to explain the defeat saying something will have to give ahead of next season.
“We need to recruit. Our reception was off the colour. The mental strength is something that we need to work on. I believe we will not stay down for long and we will be back bigger and better next season," said Odour.
The Blazers founder Richard Joseph said: "We have stood the test of time and in a way we have been vindicated. We meant business when we joined the league last November. It was our first time of asking and we finished third. This goes to show that we mean business,” said Joseph.
In the match against GSU, KPA coach Sammy Mulinge made one change to the starting line up resting opposite attacker Peter Kamara, who had began in both ties against Kenya Prisons and TrailBlazers, in place of Enock Mogeni.
KPA took a 7-5 lead before Shadrack Misiko and Brian Melly paraded water tight blocks for GSU as both teams tied 7-7 and 10-10.
Melly then combined well with Cornelius Kiplagat and Simion Kipkorir upfront as GSU pulled away 16-13 and 18-15.
KPA's middle blocker Denis Omollo and setter Elijah Bosire then earned two quick scores to close the gap to 17-17 before they overtook their opponents 20-19.
GSU coach Gideon Tarus asked for time out before he rested left attacker Naftali Chumba for the experienced Bonfentry Wekesa, a move that bore fruits.
The paramilitary side came from behind 20-23 to tie 25-25 as miscommunication in the KPA camp cost them the set 27-25.
Once again both teams tied 5-5 and 7-7 in the early stages of the second set, but this time round, it was KPA who pulled away 11-9, but they faltered in the reception to allow KPA back in the game as both teams tied 12-12,15-15 before KPA opened a four point lead at 20-16 with Omollo making all the difference with his powerful spikes in front of the net.
GSU players would lose the set 20-25. The script was not any different in the third set as both teams tied 8-8 and 10-10, before Abiud Chirchir and Melly helped GSU to pull away 14-11 and 16-12.
Experienced left attacker David Thuita was rested for James Mwaniki as KPA closed the gap 15-18,18-19 and 22-20.
The teams would later tie 24-24, but it was GSU who reigned supreme to take the third set 27-25 to lead 2-1 heading into the fourth set.
In the fourth set, GSU opened a slim 15-14 lead after both teams tied 10-10, 12-12 in the initial stages as Misiko impressed with his well oiled spikes.
KPA overtook their opponents to lead 17-15 and 20-19, but GSU regrouped to overtook their opponents 23-21 before they bagged the set 25-23 and the win 3-1.