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Prisons’ ladies hope to get leak in Pipeline at play-offs

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By SAMUEL GACHARIRA
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Kenya Prisons Service’s women’s volleyball team coach Josp Barasa is banking on the return of his experienced players to end arch-rivals Kenya Pipeline’s dominance as the Kenya Volleyball Federation National League play-offs serve off at Kasarani on Saturday.

Pipeline – who finished the regular season first and unbeaten – have won four back-to-back league titles since 2014 and Japheth Munala will be going for a fifth on the trot this weekend.

However, Barasa is confident of upsetting the oilers following the return of experienced setter Jane Wacu, veteran middle blocker Diana Khisa and the emergence of youngsters Sharon Chepchumba, Lorine Chebet and Emmaculate Chemtai.

Add the ever-green Mercy Moim, Edith Wisa, Evelyne Makuto, liberos Elizabeth Wanyama and Judith Tarus, then Barasa reckons that he has a squad capable of reclaiming the title they last won in 2013.

“I have a good blend of experience and youth in the team. The youngsters have made it to the team on merit because they have been impressive in the national team and at club level.

“The return of Wacu is also a big plus. She is an experienced player and an asset to this team. She has really increased competition in her department and as a result, a player like Joy (Lusenakha) has really improved.

“We are approaching the play-offs a confident lot because we have what it takes to win,” said Barasa who has a clean bill of health in his team.

The warders begin their campaign against Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) on Saturday before taking on debutantes Bungoma County on Sunday.

They face Pipeline in their last match on Monday in the competition that has adopted a round-robin format. Barasa is keen on getting maximum points against the Bankers – who have their former players Sally Wanjala and Pauline Nyongesa in their ranks – and the newcomers from Bungoma before taking on their nemesis.

“KCB is a tricky side. They have experienced players who know us very well having played for Prisons before. So we have to be careful not to drop points against them.

“We have been in camp for one month and had ample time to work on our mistakes especially in reception and service. The morale in camp is high,” added Barasa who guided Prisons to second place in the regular season.

Kenya Prisons libero Judith Tarus executes an under-arm pass during their training session for the Kenya Volleyball Federation league play-offs at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Indoor Gymnasium on November 27, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Prisons libero Judith Tarus executes an under-arm pass during their training session for the Kenya Volleyball Federation league play-offs at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Indoor Gymnasium on November 27, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

It was put to him that Prisons is yet to beat Pipeline this year having lost 3-2 in the Africa Club Championships in March before falling 3-1 in the Nakuru leg of the regular season.

Barasa insists they have a different game plan for the play-offs.

“Our target is to win our first two matches against KCB and Bungoma. After watching their (Pipeline’s) first two matches against the same opponents, we will know how to approach them. Forcing a good start and minimizing our mistakes is definitely part of the plan,” revealed Barasa.

Saturday’s fixtures at Kasarani:

Prisons Kenya vs Kenya Defence Forces (1pm)
Kenya Ports Authority vs General Service Unit (3pm)

Prisons Kenya vs Kenya Commercial Bank (5pm)

Bungoma County vs Kenya Pipeline (7pm).

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