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Kenya Pipeline still keen on title despite recent sideshows

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Champions Kenya Pipeline women’s team are hoping to put aside their recent off the pitch shenanigans as they seek to defend their title during the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) national play-offs scheduled for this weekend at the Moi International Sports Centre (MISC) Indoor Arena, Kasarani.

Pipeline, who have won the title back-to back since 2014, are reportedly on the verge of losing six of their players to rivals KCB next season. Besides, their team manager Benard Kimani has also bolted, citing personal reasons although he has since been replaced by Benard Barasa.

Whether the recent events are likely to affect the team remains to be seen though experienced national team setter Janet Wanja insists they will give the event their best shot as they seek to defend the crown for the fifth time. “We are human beings and really whether whatever is being said out there is true or not, It is bound to affect us in one way or the other,” she noted.

Kenya Pipeline captain and blocker, Triza Atuka who will not be part of the championship after undergoing stomach surgery, wished the team well ahead of the event.

She said: “I would have loved to be part of the team as they seek to defend the title but this will not be possible due to my ill health. I am down now but not out and I hope to be back next year in a much bigger and better way. I wish them well.”

In Atuka’s absence team’s coach Japheth Munala is likely to move the left-handed Violet Makuto to centre position from right attacking department. Makuto, who can play in both positions, is likely to work alongside the now injury-free Yvonne Sinaida, Christine Siwa and Valentine Jepkoech. The champions start title defence against newcomers Bungoma County on Saturday before facing KCB on December 2 and rivals Kenya Prisons on December 3. Pipeline started their residential training yesterday at Utalii College.



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