Record national champions (men) General Service Unit made a flying start to the Kenya Volleyball Federation League title defence by winning the opening two matches in Group Three at Kamiti Prison Grounds yesterday.
The paramilitary side secured straight sets victory over Kenya Army (25-23, 25-16, 25-14) before labouring to overcome archrivals Kenya Prisons 3-2 in an epic five set thriller.
Gideon Tarus’ men started off the brighter side claiming the first set 25-21 before the warders ran away with the second (25-18) and third (25-23) sets respectively only for the champions to level matters after capturing the fourth set (29-27) and consequently send the match to the decider.
After exchanging leads, GSU showed their class with right attacker Kelvin Omuse and Cornelius Kiplagat inspiring them to win the fifth set.
“I’m proud of the boys because we won it the hard away against Prisons. The ground (murram) didn’t favour us,” Tarus told Standard Sports.
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Before falling to GSU, Prisons had also struggled to beat Equity Bank 3-2 (25-17, 25-27, 27-29, 25-16, 15-11) at the same venue.
In the women ties, KCB will be seeking to upset champions Kenya Prisons when the two collide in what is expected to be an explosive Group Two match at Nyayo Stadium (Basketball Court) today (2pm).
Unlike Prisons whose opponents Kenya Army failed to show up at Nyayo yesterday, the fancied bankers eased to a straight sets victory over the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) 25-18, 25-19 and 25-18 at Nyayo.
Former champions Kenya Pipeline trounced Nairobi Water (25-13, 25-18, 25-18) in Embakasi as Nairobi Water match against KDF was postponed.
But even as the KCB duo of Mercy Moim and Edith Wisa have played down the significance of the tie that will see them reunite with their former employers (Kenya Prisons).
“I think volleyball is a game of friendship and that’s why I still consider Prisons as my family both on and off the court. Remember, I started off my career at KCB before moving to Prisons. So, there is no tension at all,” said Moim.
“There is nothing much about the Prisons fixture. I don’t think the hype around is necessary. But it is a good experience,” Wisa said.