Kenya Prisons women’s team retained the Kenya Volleyball Federation National League play-offs title after seeing off fancied KCB 3-0 (25-22,25-19,25-23) at the Moi International Sports Centre Indoor Arena, Kasarani on Sunday afternoon.
With the results, Prisons and KCB have booked an automatic ticket to next year’s Africa Club Championship, while Pipeline are scheduled to grace the occasion by virtue of having won bronze during last's year event that was held in Egypt.
Both teams retained the same line ups as KCB took an early lead 5-2 and 8-6 in the first technical time out.
Powered by captain Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya and Belinda Barasa, the bankers scored at will to lead 14-10 and 16-11 at the second technical time out as Prisons struggled with reception.
The pressure seemed to get the better of the wardresses as they trailed 17-12, before coach Josp Barasa rested Emmaculate Chemtai for lanky Lydia Maiyo and the move paid off as they closed gap 18-17 before tying at 18-18.
Prisons will have setter Joy Lusenaka to thank as her calculative dodges helped them overtake their opponents 21-19 and 23-20 before Mercy Moim won the last point 25-22.
In the second set, Prisons picked from where they left as they took a 5-0 lead as KCB lost ground due to miscommunication.
Prisons continued with assault thanks to Moim, Brackcidise Agala and Lusenaka magic in front of the net as they led 8-2 in the 1st TTO.
KCB slowly, but surely grew in the game as they closed the gap 7-10, but again fumbled to allow Prisons to extend lead 14-8 and 16-10 in the 2nd.
KCB coach Japheth Munala then made two substitutions resting Rwandese setter Ernestine Akimanizanye and Murambi for Joan Muindi and Phoscah Kasisi as they trailed 21-17, before Prisons bagged the set 25-19.
In the third set, KCB once again took lead, but faltered to allow Prisons to squeeze an 8-6 lead at the 1st TTO.
Basic errors from the bankers awarded their opponents free point as they trailed 16-10 at the 2nd TTO.
Kasaya and Jemima Siangu then earned points for KCB thanks to their powerful spikes to close gap 17-20 and 19-20, before they tied at 23-23 but it was Prisons who held nerve to win the set 25-23 and seal the win.
Prisons assistant coach and player Diana Khisa, who is holding brief for Azenga Mavisi, who is away on compassionate leave, said it was totally a different feeling but was glad the team defended the title.
“I’m happy that for the short period I have been an assistant coach the team has retained the title. But I must say the two positions are completely different because if you are an official you see a mistake and you think to yourself maybe I could have done differently when I was in court. But all in all, I’m still an active player but will see what the future holds for me as far as coaching is concerned” said the Center player.
In the earlier match played at the same venue, Kenya Pipeline recovered from their previous double loss against Kenya Prisons to win against Directorate of Criminal Investigation 3-0(32-30,25-22,25-22) to finish third in the three-day tournament.