COMEBACK QUEENS: Wanja inspires Kenya Pipeline to 3-2 win over Algerians
VOLLEYBALL AND HANDBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | April 26th 2016
Kenya Pipeline head coach Japheth Munala has praised his side’s comeback victory over GS Petroliers of Algeria.
In a gruelling five set match in Sunday’s Group C clash in the on-going Africa Women Volleyball Club Championships in Tunisia, the Kenyans came from behind to win 3-2 (22-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-12).
The seven-time champions trailed 0-2 (22-25, 22-25), before Janet Wanja inspired the side to win the third (25-19) and fourth (25-19) sets, thus sending the match to a tie breaker, which they won 15-12 thanks to Monica Biama’s brilliant final spike.
This was Pipeline’s second win at the tournament after they defeated Ghana Police 3-0 in their opening match on Friday.
In a phone interview from Tunisia, Munala said a spirited fight back and confidence won them the match against the former champions.
“It was a sweet, but hard-earned win.The match was very tough, but we kept our hopes alive and never gave up until it bore fruits,” said Munala.
“Confidence gave us victory. Our major undoing was reception, but we played well as a team. We are taking one step at a time. Fact is, this is not a walk in the park. North African clubs are actually giving us a run for our money.”
But for Malkia Strikers’ right attacker Gaudencia Makokha, it’s the players’ maturity, coach’s pep-talk and renewed belief after clinching the third set that inspired them to the memorable comeback.
“It was not an easy match, but maturity of the players, team work, fighting spirit and guidance of our coach enabled us to overcome GSP,” said Makokha.
“We knew we would win because we had minimised on our mistakes in the third set. But we should not be carried away after that win. We have to win our last match against FAP to qualify for the quarters.”
Kenyan international Violet Makuto said: “What an incredible come back that was. Kudos to the players for a job well-done.”
Kenya Prisons will play Ndela of Gabon today evening.
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