Contrasting starts for GSU, Prisons as KVF season gets underway
- The Kenya men's volleyball titans General Service Unit (GSU) got their season underway in an unusually sluggish manner for their standards but still managed seven points out of nine from their opening three matches over the weekend
- The record Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) champions, eyeing their fourth consecutive league title, spanked Kenya Army in straight sets (25-23, 25-16 and 25-14) in their first match on Saturday at Kamiti Prisons Grounds
The Kenya men’s volleyball titans General Service Unit (GSU) got their season underway in an unusually sluggish manner for their standards but still managed seven points out of nine from their opening three matches over the weekend.
The record Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) champions, eyeing their fourth consecutive league title, spanked Kenya Army in straight sets (25-23, 25-16 and 25-14) in their first match on Saturday at Kamiti Prisons Grounds.
They then laboured to see off Kenya Prisons and Equity Bank in their subsequent matches with each ending 3-2 in their favour.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, GSU head coach Gideon Tarus blamed long spell of inactivity owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic as the reason his charges have not made a flying start as they had planned.
“We’ve won all the matches but along the way we’ve dropped two important points in our final two matches. This is not how we had planned to start the new season but we’re aware now the others have really prepared well to wrestle the title from us. We started our training very late due to coronavirus restrictions and that for sure has affected us. Also, we haven’t played against other teams after a long time and it’s difficult to know how good they are,” he said.
On the other hand, GSU’s rivals Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) who finished runners up during the 2019 play-offs made a flying start by comfortably securing all the nine points in their first three matches at Shimo La Tewa Prisons Grounds in Mombasa.
The Mombasa based team saw off Mombasa Prisons 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-18) and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) (25-21, 25-20, 25-11) on Saturday before overcoming Kenya Forest Service’s (KFS) first set scare to win 3-1(24-26,25-16,25-22,25-23) on Sunday.
KPA head coach Samson Sunguti who will lead his charges to their maiden African Club Championships in May lauded his charges for the bright start adding that he will remain cautiously optimistic about winning this year’s title.
“We’ve started very well although I could see some sluggishness in the boys although I’m sure in the next leg we will right our few mistakes on areas like reception and service. We are going to approach one game at time and we don’t have any pressure but the target this season remains winning our maiden league title,” he said.
Prisons Bright Start
In the women’s contest, defending champions Kenya Prisons made a bright start to their title defence after edging out spirited KCB 3-1 at the Nyayo National Gymnasium on Sunday.
Prisons, who are hunting their third consecutive success since ending Kenya Pipeline five-year dominance in 2018, claimed the first set narrowly with 26-24 before winning the second with 28-26 points.
However, the Bankers regrouped and defeated the champions 25-21 in the third set but they failed to make it 2-2 in the fourth set going down 25-21.
Kenya Prisons did not play their opening fixture which was set for Saturday after their opponents Kenya Army failed to show up at Nyayo. KCB on the other hand eased to a straight sets victory over the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) 25-18, 25-19 and 25-18 at Nyayo on Saturday.
Elsewhere former champions Kenya Pipeline registered two straight sets against newcomers Nairobi Water and Nairobi Prisons on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
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