How resilient GSU clinched 5th title in a row
It took sheer determination for defending champions General Service Unit (GSU) to win a fifth consecutive national men’s volleyball league title.
GSU achieved the feat in the play-offs staged at Nyayo National Stadium at the weekend after seeing off Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) 3-1 ( 27-25/25-20/27-25/25-23) in a fiercely fought encounter. that was earlier envisaged to go either way.
An elated GSU coach Gideon Tarus commended his charges for turning the game on its head after making some lapses.
“We strived for a comeback and it duly came after we had made some unforced errors,” said Tarus.
He added: “The most important thing was that we chalked up victory although we were not as clinical as expected of us. KPA showed a lot of maturity and I congratulate them for that. All in all, I think we deserved to win due to our resiliency,”
Tarus who became the first tactician to lead GSU to a record five straight titles said the breakthrough was not easy.
“It was a difficult match in the true sense of the word but I think hard work on our part is what ultimately paid dividends,”
The opening set was tight and close and had to be decided on a super tie having been even at 25-25 all but GSU held their nerve at the blocking areas with KPA giving as much as they received.
At some point in the game, KPA raced to a four-point lead before running out of gas with the technical bench led by Sammy Mulinge shouting itself hoarse while issuing instructions to the players..
However, in the second set, KPA came with their guns blazing with their serves and blocking having drastically improved.
The Dockers organization was splendid as they shut out most of the forays from the opponents.
It was at the juncture that the trio of Enock Mogeni, Elijah Bosire and Dennis Omollo proved instrumental for KPA as they fought hard to win the set 25-20 with minimal errors of their own.
The third and fourth set was equally tight but GSU exhibited mettle to claw their way into the contest.
The trio of Abiud Chirchir, Shadrack Misiko and Cornelius Kiplagat were almost unstoppable with clinically executed drop shots and blocks down the line.
On the other hand, GSU had the tact and survival mode but the energy and hunger belonged to the losing finalists who were placed third last season.
KPA Captain Sammy Ngeny’ praised the team for a good fight but bemoaned a litany of mistakes which they would have avoided.
“We gave our all and I am sure the boys are proud of what they were able to achieve. It is an achievement and I must say there was a considerable improvement as compared to previous editions. We just failed a bit on execution but we can hold our heads high in that we gave the match a good fight,”
Meanwhile, newcomers Trailblazers beat Kenya Prisons 3-0 ( 25-23/25-19/25-21) to clinch the third place.