What you need to know:
- Pipeline captain Magoi was on cloud nine saying it has taken dedication, hardwork and perseverance to finally reclaim the title.
- “We put in the work and I’m proud that it has finally paid off,” said Magoi.
Kenya Pipeline came from a set down to reclaim the Kenya Volleyball Federation National women’s league title after a deserved 3-1(18-25,25-22,25-19,26-24 ) win against KCB at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani Indoor Arena on Sunday.
Pipeline last won the title in 2017 at the Makande indoor Arena in Mombasa.
With the win, Pipeline have booked an automatic ticket to this year’s African Clubs Championship alongside KCB who finished second at the end of Sunday's play-offs.
In the final match of the three-day event, both teams retained their squads that had won their first two matches against Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Kenya Prisons respectively.
KCB were first off the blocks leading 7-4 as Pipeline took time to settle in the first set.
KCB setter Emmaculate Nekesa, Mariam Musa and Mercy Moim combined well upfront to extend their lead to 11-8.
Pipeline struggled with their backcourt defence as they trailed 9-13 before their coach Paul Gitau rested youngster left attacker Daisy Jepkorir for experienced Naomi Too as their opponents piled more misery.
A composed Pipeline then narrowed the gap to 16-18 thanks to setter Rose Magoi, Triza Atuka and Gladys Ekaru's combined efforts in front of the net.
KCB’s Belinda Barasa, Moim and Nekesa then mounted blocks to stretch their lead to 22-18 before they easily took the set 25-18.
Pipeline regrouped in the second set as they squeezed 6-5 and 8-7 leads with Atuka, Magoi and Pamela Adhiambo earning quick points with their powerful attacks.
KCB struggled with their backcourt defence as they trailed 8-11 before their coach Japheth Munala rested setter Nekesa for Faith Imodia.
The tactic bore fruits as Imodia partnered well with middle blocker Barasa to close the gap to 12-13 before they tied 13-13 and 15-15.
Pipeline then pulled away 19-17 and 21-18 as Munala rested Musa for Juliana Namutira, who was making her maiden appearance for the bankers after crossing over from Kenya Defence Forces.
KCB captain Edith Wisa, Namutira and Nekesa, who was recalled, then bagged quick points to close the gap to 20-21, but they faded as Pipeline held onto the slim lead to bag the set 25-22 to level the tie.
It was a see-saw affair for better part of the third set as both teams tied 10-10 and 12-12 before Pipeline took charge to open a three point lead 16-13 and 19-16 and never looked back as they took the set 25-19 to have a 2-1 set ratio advantage.
In the fourth set, it was a close affair as both teams tied 14-14 and 16-16 before Pipeline squeezed 19-17 and 21-19 leads.
Magoi, Ekaru and Adhiambo then partnered well as Pipeline stretched the lead to 22-19.
The Oilers made unforced errors that allowed their opponents to force level at 22-22 and 24-24, but it was the Pipeline who made all the difference to win the set 26-24.
KCB captain Wisa acknowledged that Pipeline were the better side.
“Coming into the match we knew it could go either way. We gave our all but unfortunately our best was not good enough and we live to fight another day. I also laud Musa and Barasa who excelled for the team on their debuts in the play-offs and I believe next season we will come back bigger and better," said Wisa.
Pipeline captain Magoi was on cloud nine saying it has taken dedication, hardwork and perseverance to finally reclaim the title.
“We put in the work and I’m proud that it has finally paid off,” said Magoi.
In the third place play-offs, former champions Kenya Prisons saved their blushes after they came from a set down to see off a stubborn Directorate of Criminal Investigations 3-2(18-25,30-28,21-25,25-18 and 15-11).
Best Server - Shirleen Maywa (KCB)
Best Receiver- Brackcides Agala (Prisons)
Best Setter- Rose Magoi (Pipeline)
Best Attacker- Sarah Nakhulicha (DCI)
Best Blocker- Gladys Ekaru (Pipeline)
Best Libero- Lincy Jeruto (KCB)
Most Valuable Player- Pamela Adhiambo (Pipeline)