Kenya Pipeline coach Japheth Munala has rued the absence of star attacker Violet Makuto from his squad at the just concluded Women's Africa Club volleyball Championship in Egypt.
Pipeline returned home on Saturday, having finished third in the 19-team annual club competition.
The Kenyan champions lost one of their seven games at the competition, an embarrassing 3-1 (22-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-8) loss to hosts and eventual champions Ahly in the semi-finals.
Munala, who also doubles up as Kenya women's volleyball team coach, however believes Makuto would have inspired her team to victory at the tournament.
"We missed her (Makuto's) quality, especially the blocks and service). She is the best in this business. It would have been a different story if we had her available," Munala said.
The left-handed Makuto, who was voted the best player on the continent during the Africa Nations Championship in Nairobi last year, missed the Cairo tournament owing to discipline reasons.
"The standards of the game have improved but we still have the best players. Ahly were only better at service. The county governments should invest in indoor facilities. Otherwise we risk falling further behind the North Africans."
Pipeline captain Trizah Atuka and Kenya Prisons libero Elizabeth Wanyama were voted the best blocker and receiver at the competition.
Prisons, who missed the services of Brackides Agala and Lydia Maiyo, finished fourth at the games.