Former champions Kenya Pipeline are optimistic of recapturing the title they last won in 2017 as Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) once again changed the dates and venue of the national play-offs for the third time.
The play-offs were initially slated for Mombasa before they were moved to Nyayo National stadium from January 13-15.
However, the federation yesterday moved the climax of the women league to Kasarani indoor gymnasium on January 20 to 22.
Under the tutelage of coach Paul Gitau, Pipeline completed the regular league assignments with unbeaten run to top the table standing with 15 points with KCB settling for the second position with a point adrift.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) were third with nine points while the reigning champions Kenya Prisons completed the top four with six points.
Gitau’s chargers started vigorous training last week after the Christmas break and the coach said they have what it takes to win reclaim the trophy.
“I am leaving nothing to chance as I seek to reclaim the trophy from Prisons,” Gitau said.
Pipeline upset the reigning Africa women club’ champions KCB 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20) in their final league match and Gitau is ready to repeat the same performance when they face their opponents at the play-offs.
The six time Africa women’s club champions will heavily bank on middle blocker Triza Atuka and outside hitter and experienced Naomi Too.
Other senior players salivating for the title are setter Rose Magoi alongside Pamela Adhiambo and Gladys Ekaru among others.
“I know it will not be a walk in the park as our opponents have prepared well. We defeated all our three opponents at the regular league matches and we are ready to repeat the same performances at the play-offs,” Gitau said yesterday.
The women regular league concluded a fortnight ago in Nandi with the fifth leg after it was shelved in May to pave way for the Malkia Strikers to train in Brazil and Serbia ahead of the World Championships.
KVF organising secretary Ismail Chege said the play-offs will mark the end of the 2021/22 women league.
“The 2022/23 women national league will start on February 4-5 with the first leg at Nyayo Stadium,” Chege said.
The men’s second leg is set for February 10-12 in Mombasa.