Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) women’s National League champions Kenya Pipeline will renew rivalry with their archrivals Kenya Prisons in the opening leg of the new season which serves on Friday at the Kamukunji grounds, Nyeri.
The clash between the two teams will be the highlight of the first leg, which had originally been set to be held in Malaba in Busia County.
Pipeline came from behind to win a five-set thriller 3-2 sets (25-21, 17-25, 25-22, 23-25 and 15-10) against Prisons in last season’s play-off final in Mombasa. Prisons last won the title in 2013 and have played second fiddle to Pipeline over the last three years.
Men’s champions Kenya Prisons, who beat General Service Unit (GSU) to the title last season, will play Co-operative Bank and Administration Police in the opening leg.
GSU will open their title quest against Nairobi Prisons while Nairobi Water, who made their debut in the play -off will face Forest Rangers. Teams have been training since the beginning of the year and have bolstered their squads ahead of the Friday kick-off.
Tuesday is the deadline for signing new players. Last season’s runners-up in women’s league Kenya Prisons have recruited five new players who finished secondary school last year.
They include left attackers Joan Ngeywo ( Lugulu), Meldine Sande (Mukumu) and Pamela Masaisai (Kwanthanze), centre Caro Serenge from Mautuma and Tereza Eweet of Kwanthanze Secondary School.
Eweet captained Kwanthanze to back-to-back national titles as well as one regional title and is expected to add depth to the Prisons centre position.
“Our attacking and reception was wanting last year and that’s what we are working on now besides strengthening other departments,” Prisons assistant coach Josp Baraza said on Monday.
Prisons will be relying on the experience of sensational national team setter Jane Wacu, former national team captain Brackcidise Agala, left attacker Evelyne Makuto, libero Elizabeth Wanyama and right attacker Lydia Maiyo to lead the them to honours.
KCB women’s team, who finished third last year, have also snapped six new players as they seek a maiden league title.
They include former national team setter Sally Wanjala, middle blocker Dorcas Chepleting and left attacker Elisheba Chepkemboi all from Kenya Prisons.