Volleyball: Old foes Prisons, Pipeline in high-octane play-offs opener
What you need to know:
- On offer in the three-day event are the two automatic tickets to this year’s African Clubs Championship
- Two matches are lined up on Friday with 2017 champions Pipeline taking on defending champions Prisons at 12pm before DCI battle KCB at 3pm
- Pipeline start as favourites if their unbeaten run in the regular season is anything to go by but they come up against an experienced Prisons side
Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani indoor arena will come alive Friday afternoon as Kenya Volleyball Federation women’s National League play-offs begin.
The play-offs return to Kasarani for the first time since 2018.
On offer in the three-day event are the two automatic tickets to this year’s African Clubs Championship.
Vying for the two tickets that are up for grabs are defending champions Kenya Prisons, former champions Kenya Pipeline, African clubs champions KCB Women’s Volleyball Team and unpredictable Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) who finished in the top four at the completion of the regular season.
Two matches are lined up on Friday with 2017 champions Pipeline taking on defending champions Prisons at 12pm before DCI battle KCB at 3pm.
Pipeline start as favourites if their unbeaten run in the regular season is anything to go by but they come up against an experienced Prisons side.
Speaking after their final training session at Kasarani, bullish Pipeline coach Paul Gitau said they are set and raring to go.
“We are good to go. There is nothing as good as a player being mentally prepared since these other factors just fall in place. The morale is high, let’s wait and see,” said Gitau.
“The stakes are high, that’s for sure. We know it is not going to be easy but we have trained well and can only hope for the best. We are treating every match as a final and we hope to start on a sound note,” said Prisons coach Josp Barasa whose team had pit camp at Nyayo National stadium gymnasium.
Gitau is likely to field promising Daisy Chepkorir and Pamela Adhiambo as outside hitters while Miriam Chelimo will start in the opposite position.
Experienced Triza Atuka and on-form Gladys Ekaru will start as middle blockers while Rose Magoi and reliable Aggripina Kundu will man the setting and libero departments.
Prisons on the other hand, have long-serving Brackcides Agala and hard-hitting Pamela Masaisai as outside hitters, Joan Jelagat and Anne Lowem in the middle, while Yvonne Wavinya will be fielded in as opposite. Joy Lusenaka, who is fresh from maternity leave will take care of the setting department.
DCI opposite hitter Mercy Iminza and left attacker Marion Indeche were optimistic of a good show against the bankers. KCB coach Japheth Munala said he will not underrate any team.
“There is all to play for. It will be three days of intense action. DCI is a good side and any team should write them off at their own peril. We will take one game at a time and see what happens,” said Munala who double up as the national team assistant coach.
Prisons v Pipeline 12pm
DCI v KCB 3pm