National women's league champions KCB Bank face a big test of character when the 2023/24 Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) league serves off Thursday at the Koitalel Samoei University in Nandi County.
Twelve women and 16 men teams will be in action during the first leg that runs today and tomorrow.
The teams will also participate in the Heroes Community tournament slated for the weekend at the same venue.
KCB, who clinched the league early this month after a comprehensive 3-1 win over the immediate former champions Kenya Pipeline, left Nairobi yesterday to camp in Nandi ahead of the start of the new volleyball season.
The bankers start their title defence against Vihiga County today before tackling Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCl) tomorrow.
Under experienced tactician Japheth Munala, the bankers aim to start the new season on a high note.
"We are heading to Nandi County to make a statement right from the onset. As the defending champions, teams will be out to bring out their best cream of players to the table, so we must prove why we are the champions. The team is in good shape as the girls are raring to go. Over the past few weeks, we have trained well, and it is my hope that we will begin on the right footing," said Munala.
Youthful Marlyn Terry, who was one of stars during the national play offs, is expected to feature for her side in the first league. Captain Edith Wisa will lead the 18-player squad that include Juliana Namutira, Esther Mutinda, Mercy Maim, Sharleen Maiywa and Mariam Musa just to name a few.
Pipeline under coach Paul Gitau start their title quest with a match against Kenya Army. Former champions Kenya Prisons open their title chase against Nairobi Prisons.
In men’s matches, champions Kenya Prisons face their fellow colleagues from Prisons Rift Valley while former champions General Service Unite (GSU) take on newbies DoD Cau.
The 2022/23 league first runners-up Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) play Nyanza Prisons as newcomers Mt Kenya Base Yetu test the waters against Western Prisons.