Kenya Forest Service (KFS) on Saturday shocked Kenya Prisons 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-18 and 25-20) at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi to throw the race for the men’s Kenya Volleyball Federation National league play-offs wide open.
With reigning champions General Service Unit (GSU) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) having booked their place in the play-offs, Prisons, Kenya Defence Forces(KDF), Equity Bank, newcomers TrailBlazers and KFS are all in the race for the remaining two slots.
KFS coach Wachira Gatuiria was over the moon saying they are back in contention for the play-offs.
“On Friday we were defeated by Equity Bank but I’m happy that we have won against former champions. We hope to win against Administration Police on Sunday,” said Wachira.
Prisons coach David Lung’aho was shocked by the result.
“We had trained well and we didn’t just show up. We were a pale shadow of ourselves. I know we will qualify for the play-offs but with this type of performance I’m worried,” said Lung’aho.
KFS recovered from Friday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Equity as they took an early lead 11-8 in the first set.
Brotherly rivalry was at play as Luke Makuto featured for the Forest Service while Elphas turned up for Prisons.
KFS took advantage of their opponents who took time to settle as setter Mathias Kemboi, Enock Kasili and Calistus Kiptum combined well upfront to extend the lead to 13-9.
Unforced errors from KFS would give Prisons free scores as they tied 16-16 but once again the Forest men found their way back in the lead 21-18 before they took the set 25-20.
In the second set, Prisons coach David Lung’aho rested right attacker Sila Kipruto for Jairus Kipkosgei as they squeezed a 3-2 and 7-5 leads.
Elphas’ jump serves earned Prisons scores as they held on to the a slim 9-7 lead.
Setter Kemboi, Wanyoike and Kasili then partnered well as they tied the scores at 12-12.
Elphas then made all the difference for Prisons as he attacked the KFS blocks with powerful spikes as they opened a four score gap at 17-13.
KFS would crumble as they trailed 16-21.
Rodger Kipkirui, Charles Wambua and Elphas bagged points at will to take the set 25-19 to the set scores at 1-1.
In the third set, KSF found their rhythm back and took control of the set 13-8, 22-17 as Prisons offered little resistance to lose the set 25-18.
In fourth set, KFS coach Gatuiria rested Kemboi for Julius Mwai and the changes were timely as they took charge of the entire set from the start to the finish.
In the other match played at the same venue, reigning champions GSU held their nerves to see off stubborn Equity 3-2(25-17,25-23,21-25,19-25,19-17).
In the meantime, Nyanza Prisons and KPA bagged three points each after their opponents Western Prisons and Vihiga County failed to honour their ties.
Mombasa Prisons v TrailBlazers 10am
Kenya Defence Forces v Central Prisons 12pm
Vihiga County v Kenya Army 12pm
Nairobi Prisons v Nyanza Prisons 2pm
Western Prisons v Equity Bank 4pm