KENYA Volleyball Federation league champions Kenya Pipeline and General Service Unit (GSU) started their title defence on a hig note as they won their opening matches on day one of the league playoffs at Moi Kasarani yesterday.
Pipeline beat former champions Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) 25-15, 25-20 and 25-18, while GSU rallied to beat Forest Rangers 25-22, 25-18 and 25-20.
Kenya Prisons, who are the continental champions, also had a superb outing in their bid to reclaim the title, beating Nairobi Water 25-12, 25-17, 25-18.
Against KCB, Pipeline coach Japheth Munala, who left the bankers for the oil girls last year, fielded a strong side that had internationals Asha Makuto, Janet Wanja and Rhoda Liyali.
Makuto was returing from a lengthy lay off since injuring her leg at the Africa Club Championships at Nazarene University earlier in the year.
Pipeline opened an 8-3 lead at the first technical time out, extending it to 16-9 at the second and winning the set 25-15. In the second, KCB looked the better side as they ruffled feathers in the Pipeline camp managing a narrow 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout.
Pipeline sensed danger and upped their gear with Wanja and Asha combining well to overturn the tables and help claim the set 25-20.
KCB, playing under new coach Vernon Kainga, who took over after the departure of Paul Gitau, surrendered the third set early on falling a 8-4, 14-9, 16-15 to eventually lose 25-18.