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Battle for play-offs slots takes centre stage in Kapsabet

Wednesday October 23 2019

Maxwell Akunoit (right) of Kenya Defence Forces spikes the ball past Timothy Kimutai (14) and Hudson Chesoni of Kenya Prisons team during the Amaco International Volleyball tournament men’s final at Eldoret National Polytechnic in Uasin Gishu County on May 26, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

Maxwell Akunoit (right) of Kenya Defence Forces spikes the ball past Timothy Kimutai (14) and Hudson Chesoni of Kenya Prisons team during the Amaco International Volleyball tournament men’s final at Eldoret National Polytechnic in Uasin Gishu County on May 26, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AGNES MAKHANDIA
By AGNES MAKHANDIA
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The battle for slots in the Kenya Volleyball Federation play-offs takes centre stage on Thursday and Friday at the Kapsabet showground in Nandi County.

At the end of the regular KVF national league on Friday, top four teams in both the men and women's leagues will proceed to the play-offs set for November 22-24 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

In the men’s category, General Service Unit (GSU) and their eternal rivals Kenya Prisons have one foot already in the last four and all eyes will be on the the other teams chasing the remaining slots.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Equity Bank are all locked in the chase for the two slots.

CLOSE CONTEST

KPA have 21 points from eight matches, KDF have 15 points same as the bankers. The soldiers have played seven matches while Equity have played one more match.

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KDF have two clashes against Vihiga County and KPA on Thursday while the Dockers battle Kenya Prisons in another tie before Equity take on Prisons Mombasa.

KDF, who made their debut in the play-offs last year,

"Last year we found ourselves in the same scenario, we came close but didn't make it. I hope that our best will be good enough this time round as we really want to be in the final four positions,” Equity team manager Nicholas Bitok told Nation Sport on Wednesday.

KDF team manager Alfred Ruto believes last year's experience in the play-offs will help his youthful squad make it to the title showdown phase.

"We gave a good account of ourselves during last year's play-offs where we won against Kenya Prisons and although we finished last, we were proud of ourselves. We want to go a step further this time round. We will give our best shot to qualify for the event,” Ruto said.

“We are regulars at the event and I don’t see why we shouldn’t be in this one. As much as we know it will not be a walk in the park, we are determined and we hope at the end of it all,” KPA team manager Joel Kosgei noted.

BRAGGING RIGHTS

The highlight of the day will be clash pitting arch-rivals GSU against Kenya Prisons.

With both teams still unbeaten in the league this season, bragging rights and top seeds status going into the play-offs will be at stake when the two sides clash from 1pm.

The paramilitary side have 21 points from seven matches while Prisons have 18 points from six matches.

In the women's league, champions Kenya Prisons, Kenya Pipeline and KCB look set for the top three play-offs slots and only one slot is up for grabs.

KDF and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) will be seeking to make it to title contest phase, replacing Bungoma County who were in the play-offs last year but have had a below-par season this term.

KCB have 12 points from five matches, DCI have nine points from four matches while KPC are third with eight points from four outings.

Prisons have eight points from four matches while KDF have two points from two matches.

FIXTURES

Men

AP v KDF(9am)

Prisons Mombasa v GSU(9am)

Nairobi v Vihiga County (9am)

Kenya Army v Bungoma County(9am)

Prisons Kenya v Kenya Army(11am)

KPA v KDF(1pm)

GSU v Kenya Prisons(1pm)

Equity Bank v Prisons Mombasa (1pm)

Bungoma County v Nairobi Prisons (1pm)

Vihiga County v KDF (1pm)

Women

Kenya Pipeline v DCI (9am)

Kenya Prisons v Kenya Army(9am)

KDF v Ashton(9am)

Kenya Prisons v Bungoma County(9am)

KCB v Kenya Army(1pm)

Kenya Pipeline v KDF (1pm)

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