By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 25, 2016
Kenya Volleyball Federation league men and women's defending champions, General Service Unit (GSU) and Kenya Pipeline beat Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and KCB 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-16, 25-17) and 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-12) on Friday to put their title defence on course in the ongoing national playoff in Mombasa.
The win for Kenya Pipeline against Water saw them take an take an early lead in the women's log with three points, same as GSU who moved up in the men's category on the same set ratio advantage.
Kenya Prisons with a lower score ratio dropped to second on the log despite beating Kenya Commercial Bank in the first playoff match at the Makande Hall.
Prisons beat the Bankers 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-21) but they find themselves trailing Kenya Pipeline who have a strong set ratio advantage. Kenya Pipeline are looking for a third straight national title while Prisons are in search of a first title in three years.
KCB and Nairobi Water are third and fourth respectively, with the bankers having a superior score count.
In a tough men's group, both favourites GSU and Prisons dropped points to throw wide the battle for national pride and an automatic ticket to next year's Africa Club championship.
GSU started rough walk to podium
GSU who are chasing a record 12th title started the rough walk to the podium on a positive note despite dropping a crucial set against KPA.
The scenario may be complicated for the Kenyan volleyball giants should they drop another set tomorrow when they tackle a gritty Nairobi Water in the second match if Prisons register a straight set win over KPA in the other match lined up for day two Saturday.
Just like Nairobi Water, KPA's attempt sto pull a surprise comeback in the match was thwarted in the third set after GSU grabbed the shortest set of the playoff so far with a 25-16 win after some sloppy defending from the hosts.
They had leveled the scores one-all after repaying their opening set loss by an identical 25-21 set scores. The fourth set ended 25-17 in favour of GSU who are yet to win a back to back title since 2008.
Prisons (men) also expressed keen intention of reclaiming the title from GSU when they repelled strong opposition from a determined Water side in a hard fought three-one win.
Prisons started strongly in the opening set when they quickly beat Water 25-19 but the new entrants responded in the subsequent set with a 25-20 win to level.
This threw the game wide open but with 14 years experience and four titles to their name, Prisons grabbed the third set 25-18 before wrapping the game three one with a 25-20 win in the last set.
Nairobi Water who will next play GSU tomorrow are making their debut at this stage. Prisons will tackle KPA.
In the women's race, Kenya Pipeline will square it out with KCB as Water play Prisons.