KCB coach Japheth Munala has demanded a quick response from his players ahead of this weekend’s Kenya Volleyball Federation National League second leg fixtures against Kenya Army and Kenya Pipeline at Nyayo Indoors Arena.
The bankers registered mixed results in the opening round of the transitional season, beating Directorate of Criminal Investigations by straight sets (25-18, 25-19 and 25-18) before falling 3-1 (26-24, 28-26, 21-25, 25-16) to champions Kenya Prisons.
While the women’s teams will be battling it out at Nyayo, the men’s teams will be clashing at Kidundu Stadium and Nanyuki Stadium.
Former champions Kenya Prisons headline Group One in Vihiga (Kidundu) as record champions General Service Unit and other Group Two teams travel to Nanyuki.
And with national team captain Mercy Moim, Edith Wisa, Sharon Chepchumba, Rwandese middle-blocker Ernestine Akimanizanye and Ugandan setter Sharon Amito having joined the likes of Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya and Violet Makuto in team last year, Munala has challenged his star-studded squad to prove its worth as they seek to restore lost glory.
But to achieve their target of winning both the national and continental titles, Munala wants his players to secure wins against Kenya Army (today) and his former club Kenya Pipeline (tomorrow).
The bankers, who finished second behind Kenya Prisons in the 2019 season, have not won the national title since 2008.
It has been the same situation with the continental gong which they last lifted in 2006.
“We lost an important game to Kenya Prisons in the first leg, but that’s now behind us and our focus is on the second leg fixtures including the Kenya Pipeline match; another tough team,” said Munala.
“We have been training how to counter the two upcoming fixtures and we are optimistic we are going to win both of them. After recruiting well, our aim is not only to win the national title this season but also lifting the continental trophy.”
He continued: “The team is in good shape with no major injuries and is jelling quite well. Our main issue has been coordination, but since we have played a series of friendly matches the girls have jelled. We are hopeful of doing well this weekend.
But just like KCB, Kenya Pipeline coach Paul Gitau whose team won their opening two matches of the campaign by straight sets against Nairobi Water and Nairobi Prisons, says the oilers are determined to reclaim the title they lost to their archrivals Kenya Prisons in 2018.
“It is always a good feeling to start your season on a high note after such a long break.
“I’m pleased with what I have seen in the team so far ahead of the second leg. I’m rebuilding a team that is going to reclaim our lost glory both locally and continentally,” said Gitau.
Kenya Army and Kenya Defence Forces will both be playing for the first time in the league this season after missing the first leg due to various reasons.
Men champions GSU will be seeking to continue the winning streak.
Coach Gideon Tarus side take on Mombasa Prisons today in Nanyuki before facing Kenya Defence Forces tomorrow at the same venue.