Pipeline suffer setback as skipper Atuka ruled out of KVF play-offs


Pipeline suffer setback as skipper Atuka ruled out of KVF play-offs
Kenya volleyball women team blocker Trizah Atuka follows her serve during their training session at Kasarani Indoor Arena on August 24, 2018. Malkia strikers are preparing ahead of the Volleyball Women’s Championship set for 29th September to 20th October in Japan. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • Kenya Volleyball Federation women’s league defending champions Kenya Pipeline have suffered a major setback ahead of the KVF play-offs after captain Trizah Atuka was ruled out following a stomach surgery.
  • Pipeline have dominated the league since 2013 with Atuka playing a crucial role during this period, winning  the Most Valuable Player award in 2016 for her starring role that term.

Kenya Volleyball Federation women’s league defending champions Kenya Pipeline have suffered a major setback ahead of the KVF play-offs after captain Trizah Atuka was ruled out following a stomach surgery.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, the six-time African club champions head coach Japeth Munala said the seasoned middle blocker will sit out of action until next year thus missing the play-offs set for November 30 to December 2 at the Kasarani Indoor Arena.

Munala has however expressed optimism of retaining the KVF league title; fifth time in a row, despite the skipper’s absence.

“For sure we will miss our captain following that injury but I have a good squad which I know will triumph during the play-offs. The other players are in good shape and my eyes are on the title so that we may book a slot to next year’s African Club Championship,” Munala said.

Pipeline have dominated the league since 2013 with Atuka playing a crucial role during this period, winning  the Most Valuable Player award in 2016 for her starring role that term.

The 26-year-old was also part of the Malkia squad that recently featured at the FIVB World Championship in Japan.

During the three-day play-offs which also serves as the qualification for next year’s Africa Club Championship, Atuka’s Pipeline will battle it out for the title against arch-rivals Kenya Prisons ,Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Bungoma County team.

Meanwhile, Munala’s opposite number, Kenya Prisons coach David Lung’aho has shifted focus to men’s team with Joseph Barasa who has been working as assistant to the latter appointed as the women’s head coach.

Lung’aho who doubles up as the KVF technical director says he has moved to the men’s team to help them end General Service Unit (GSU) local dominance.

“Prisons men have been finishing as runners-up for about three years in a row and GSU have been our biggest hurdle and I have come to help them clinch this year’s title,’’ the seasoned tactician revealed.

The other two sides who will square it alongside GSU and Kenya Prisons are Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). The play-offs will be played in a round robin format.

 

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Story By Stanley Mativo
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