Pipeline coach sets her sights on KVF league diadem during competition climax

Thursday, November 21st, 2019 04:35 |
GSU (red top) play against Kenya Prison in Nandi volleyball tournament in Kapsabet. GSU won the tournament. PD/EMMANUEL MASINDE
GSU (red top) play against Kenya Prison in Nandi volleyball tournament in Kapsabet. GSU won the tournament. PD/EMMANUEL MASINDE

Kenya Pipeline head coach Margaret Indakala has expressed confidence in her squad ahead of this season’s Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) playoffs set for tomorrow through to Sunday where the side will be looking to reclaim the women’s title.

 On his part, men’s defending champions General Service Unit (GSU) are ready to fight for their third consecutive title. They begin their title defence against military side Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) before playing Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Prisons at the KCB Bank-sponsored playoffs.  

 Indakala, who took over as head coach at Pipeline after serving as an assistant for four years, following the exit of Japheth Munala to rivals KCB is looking to guide the team to reclaiming the title they relinquished to Kenya Prisons last season.

 “Morale in camp is high and we are working on our weak areas. This is a tough competition but I have my eyes set on clinching the title in my first stint at the helm,” said Indakala.

The former Kenya international will have to do without her influential captain Triza Atuka who is recovering from a knee injury. Also not in the tactician’s plans are Yvonne Sinaida and Christine Siwa who are also recovering from injuries sustained earlier in the league.

 “Challenges are there, especially the injuries that are coming at a crucial time. We have recovered from the shock of Atuka’s injury and the players set to play in her position are capable of delivering as they have done it while Atuka was away on national duty,” added Indakhala.

 Kenya international Gladys Ekaru, Ruth Chepngetich, Tebla Simiyu, Valentine Jepkoech, Jane Ocho and Beldine Akinyi are expected to step up in the absence of team captain Atuka. Also expected to impress are youngsters Esther Mutinda and Betty Sifuna who will be making their debut at the playoffs.

 Meanwhile, Gideon Tarus, who guided GSU to a top place finish in the regular season, is hoping to replicate the same at the playoffs. The return of experienced libero Alex Kariuki and middle blocker Cornelius Lagat who have not been in action since the Amaco tournament earlier in the year adds to the squad’s depth. The side dropped three sets in the regular season, two against Prisons and one to KPA.

 “We have prepared well and are under no pressure as we look to defend our title. All teams will come hard at us but, without sounding bullish, we are determined to handle them better than we did in the regular season and ensure the status quo remains,” said Tarus.

 Team captain David Kirwa, who expressed optimism in their title defence quest. Just like the tactician, the skipper maintains that the team is under no pressure from within or without and that the mix of young and experienced players gives them an edge ahead of the championship.

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