Kenya: Top Guns Struggling in KVF League

As the second leg of the men's Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) National League ended over the weekend in Vihiga and Laikipia Counties respectively, no clear favourite has emerged.

With two legs to the end of the regular season, and teams having played atleast seven out of 12 matches, previous season's front runners have found the going tough.

The league, which has attracted 13 teams and is been played in a round robin format, will see the top four sides book a place in the last four.

League front runners among them champions General Service Unit (GSU), 2019 runners up Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), former champions Kenya Prisons, Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Equity Bank registered mixed results in the weekend matches.

GSU lost a point to league returnees Kenya Forest Service in their narrow 3-2 win, before they recovered to win against Mombasa Prisons and KDF in identical 3-0 scorelines.

With the weekend results, GSU are placed third on the log with 15 points from six matches behind Kenya Prisons who won all their four fixtures against KPA (3-2), Administration Police (3-0), Nairobi Prisons (3-1) and hosts Vihiga County (3-0), to occupy second position with 17 points from seven matches.

KPA top the standings with 19 points from seven matches having lost 2-3 to Kenya Prisons, before winning against Equity Bank 3-0, Vihiga 3-1 and 3-0 against AP.

GSU coach Gideon Tarus said it's early to call, but noted that teams have remarkably improved.

"The sets scores and end results from every league match so far played are there for everyone to see. It's not going to be business as usual, but we are determined to guard our title," said Tarus.

Kenya Prisons men's coach David Lung'aho said that his new squad is slowly coming of age.

"In 2019, we finished third during the play-offs as we were building a new team. While the league is competitive, I'm happy to record some positives from some players. Players like Elphas Makuto and Jairus Jepkosgei have begun well. In equal measure, teams have improved and moreso Vihiga County and it will be interesting to see how the league will pan out," said the KVF technical director.

In the meantime, the much improved Vihiga County proved that they are not pushovers.The side coached by Samuel Mugata won against AP 3-2, narrowly lost to Equity Bank 2-3, before snatching a set from Kenya Prisons in their 3-1 loss and fell to KPA 3-0.

Vihiga coach Mugata said a play-offs slot is not far-fetched.

"We signed four players that are changing our fortunes. We finished in the eighth position in 2019, but we are eager to make it to the last four this season," said the tactician.

Vihiga recruited Vitalis Wanyama and David Walukaya from Namwela Secondary School as well as Godfrey Omondi and Geoffrey KuiKui from Kisumu and Equity Bank respectively.

In the women's league standings, champions Kenya Prisons and KCB are joint top with nine points, although the bankers have played one more match.

Unbeaten Prisons won their two fixtures against Nairobi Prisons 3-0 and Nairobi Water 3-0, while KCB overpowered Kenya Pipeline 3-1 and KDF 3-0

Kenya Pipeline, who are building a new team with most players drawn from Secondary schools across the country, are third with six points from three matches. The Oilers succumbed to KCB 3-1 in their only fixture of the weekend.

Kenya Prisons women's coach Josp Barasa asaid they are keen to defend the title, but will take one game at a time. KDF, Nairobi Water and Nairobi remain winless.

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