Africa Club championship slots motivates league teams in Eldama Ravine

By emmanuel sabuni
Oct 12, 2016
  • Kenya Defence Forces men's volleyball team are nearly through to the KVF pla-offs where they are keen to win the first title in 10 years. (SNA. File Photo)

Volleyball bigwigs are keen to qualify for this year’s play off during the last meeting of Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) at Eldama Ravine, Baringo County this Friday.

General Service Unit (GSU), Nairobi Water and Kenya Prisons occupy the top three positions with 30, 29 and 25 points respectively. Each team will have their eyes set on flying Kenya's flag at the 2017 Confederation of Volleyball Federation (CAVB) .

The winner of the league automatically books a ticket for the continental championship.

One of the anticipated tie will be between Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in men’s category where the soldiers must win before heading to Mombasa for the play-offs.

Only one point separates the teams. KDF are fourth on the log while KPA are three points behind infifth position.  KDF have not won a major trophy for 10 years a loss to the top team will be a big blow. KPA are confident after they won the inaugural Taita Taveta County Government open volleyball tournament.

This was their first trophy this year under a new coach James Ontere. The dockers have collected 21 will open the day with KDF before facing off with Kenya Prisons and Bungoma County amidst reports that  Rangers have pulled out of the last league.

Their failure to travel to Eldama Ravine could help KPA automatically qualify for playoff set for November in Mombasa's Makande Hall.

KVF secretary Ishmael Chege explained they had not received a formal letter stating Rangers' inability to travel to Eldama Ravine. "I must say that Rangers are still in the league because they've not written any formal letter showing that they've pulled out but if they don't turn up, we'll give a walk over," said Chege.

Lower their guards

It is unlikely that the top four teams GSU, Nairobi Water and Kenya Prisons would lower their guards to blow away their chances of reaching the play offs.

Prison’s coach Gideon Chenje is not worried and has focused on planning for KDF and Administration Police (AP Kenya). Any slip could favor KDF and KPA moving to the money bracket playoff.

Nairobi Water booked their first playoff berth with a match against eighth-placed Bungoma County. Nairobi Water has only lost one match and this fixture is seen as nothing but a destruction from their indoor training which begun last week ahead of Mombasa trip.

There is no much drama expected in the women's competition whose line up is almost complete. Kenya Prisons is controlling the proceedings with 21 points and their clash against Kenya Pipeline, second with 15 points will be nothing but a bragging right.

Just like Prisons, Kenya Pipeline have already secured their place in the play off while third-placed Nairobi Water (13) needs just one win from two fixtures against Prisons and Kenya Pipeline to cement their place same as KCB who are fourth on the log with nine points.

The bankers will have nothing to worry about when they face Mount Kenya University in their only fixture in Eldama Ravine.

Bungoma County threw away their chances reaching the play off after giving away free points last month in Voi on a walk over. This now leaves them with tough assignment against Nairobi Water, Prisons and Kenya Pipeline which they must win and hope that KCB falters in order for them to book their maiden appearance at the best of-eighth-club-competition.

Men's fixtures

GSU vs Prisons Kenya, KPA vs KDF, Co-op Bank vs Nairobi Prisons, Bungoma County vs MKU, Prisons Mombasa vs Western Prisons, Prisons Mombasa vs AP Kenya, KDF vs Bungoma County, GSU vs KPA, KDF vs Kenya Prisons, Bungoma County vs Nairobi Water, Nairobi Prisons vs Western Prisons, Prisons Kenya vs AP Kenya, KPA vs Forest Rangers, Bungoma County vs AP Kenya, Co-op Bank vs Forest Rangers.

Women

Kenya Pipeline vs Kenya Prisons, Nairobi Water vs Bungoma County, KCB vs MKU, Kenya Pipeline vs KCB, Prisons Kenya vs Nairobi Water, Prisons Kenya vs Bungoma County, Bungoma County vs Kenya Pipeline.