KPA survive Trailblazers scare to win in five
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) had to dig deep to earn a 3-2 victory over Trailblazers in the two teams’ Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) 2021/22 Men’s League playoff encounter staged at the Nyayo National Stadium indoor arena on Friday.
After dropping the first two sets, the Dockers regained their footing against the playoff newbies to win the next three and secure the win 22:25, 20:25, 25:23, 25:17, 15:11.
Despite the valiant effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, Sammy Mulinge’s charges will have to do with two points from the encounter with one point going to Trailblazers for forcing the game to five sets.
The two points see the Mombasa-based side finish day one of the playoffs in second place, a point behind leaders General Service Unit (GSU) who defeated Kenya Prisons in the day’s first fixture.
Frustrated and Relieved
Speaking after the game, a frustrated plus relieved Mulinge said, “Of course, I am disappointed with us dropping two sets but I am also happy with how my players regained themselves after starting the game on the back foot. It shows maturity and that is what you want as a coach.
“I put it down to fright, the playoffs are different from the regular season and you have to be mentally strong from the first whistle to the last. They (players) learned the hard way today,” he added.
KPA now switch their attention to Saturday’s duel with Kenya Prisons set to serve off from 2 pm. The game will be a mouthwatering one not just because Prisons will be looking to get their first win on the board but also because David Lung’aho’s charges inflicted KPA with their first and only defeat of the regular season.
Blazers on their part will curtain raise Saturday’s action with GSU from 10 am, a game that head coach Geoffrey Omondi is looking forward to.
He said, “If you really look at it then you will see that we aren’t supposed to be here. To be playing the playoffs in our debut season is a huge achievement and going to five sets against a team that is regarded as a title favourite is surreal. We walk away today disappointed of course with losing in such a manner but we will hang our heads high as we have proved that we are no pushovers and will face GSU with renewed confidence.”
Action will continue throughout the weekend at the Nyayo Stadium with the number one team at the end of the round-robin tournament on Sunday sealing the 2021/22 championship. The winner will be joined by the second-placed team in representing the country at the 2023 Africa Club Championships.
Below are the complete playoff fixtures;
Saturday 30 July
GSU vs Trailblazers – 10am
KPA vs Kenya Prisons – 2pm
Sunday 31 July
Trailblazers vs Kenya Prisons – 10am
GSU vs KPA – 2pm