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Volleyball: KCB seek to end long league title drought

Last updated 7 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi

KCB's Lorine Chebet attack Captain Praxides Agalla and Yvonne Wavinya (right) of Prison Kenya during KVF League at Kitui School on April 26, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Even as fancied KCB feel the pressure of winning the national women’s volleyball title, captain Noel Murambi is confident her side will deliver the elusive title at this weekend’s play-offs (November 22-24) at the Kasarani Gymnasium.

The bankers had an impressive run in the regular season finishing joint top at the table in the regular season with champions Kenya Prisons (18 points).

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KCB showed their intent to end their long-title drought by breaking the bank to re-sign head coach Japheth Munala from rivals Kenya Pipeline and six key players. The bankers last lifted the national title in 2008.

And to ensure KCB restore their lost glory, Munala, who won four consecutive national titles with Pipeline, moved back with Murambi, former national league most valuable player Violet Makuto, Jemima Siangu (left attackers), Leonida Kasaya (centre), Veronica Tanui (setter),Truphosa Samoei (left attacker) and Christine Njambi (right attacker).

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The bankers then raided champions Prisons for youthful middle blocker Lorine Chebet.

“It is long since we last won the national title. I know it will be tough, but I think this is the best time for us to reclaim it. ,” Munala told Standard Sports.

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Murambi also feels this is the time for the players to make their sponsors proud.

“Obvious there’s pressure because we want to do it for ourselves as well as the management,” said Murambi.

 “But we expect to perform well because our sponsors have really invested into us as a team. So, what we can give back to them is to get good results and lift the trophy. Actually, we are going for nothing short than winning the play-offs.”

“We finished first in the regular season and we also want to retain that position at the end of the play-offs.”

But the Malkia Strikers assistant captain and right attacker believes it is not going to be a walk in the park as they face stiff competition from their three opponents.

“We are training hard with our sights set on the title. Of course it’s not going to be easy as we expect stiff competition from the other teams but we are determined to make our sponsors and fans proud,” said Murambi.

“We have a strong squad with each player focused and eager to write their own history with the club. We are working on our strengths and weaknesses, knowing very well we are going to play against familiar opponents.”

KCB begin their playoffs campaign on Friday against debutants Directorate of Criminal Investigation before taking on champions Prisons the following day.

They will then wrap up their campaign with an eagerly awaited tie against their new-found rivals Pipeline. [Rodgers Eshitemi]