Favourites and former champions Kenya Prisons men’s team were humbled 3-2 (22-25,25-27,25-18,25-21,12-15) by Kenya Defence Forces as the Kenya Volleyball Federation national league play-offs got underway at Moi International Kasarani, indoor Arena on Saturday.
Prisons, who finished second in the regular season, were tipped to win the match but they lost to the soldiers despite their exemplary resilience that saw the game stretch to a five set thriller.
The warders came from two sets down to push the game to the five sets but they succumbed in the final set as KDF snatched the game 12-15.
Coach Paul Muthinja said toying with the squad cost the team the win.
“We gambled with the line up and it messed us up. We now have to win the remaining ties against KPA and GSU if we have to stand for something,” said Muthinja.
His opposite number Pius Birech was on cloud nine saying they are in competition to challenge for title.
“It’s a sweet win. We hope to build on the positive start going forward,” a visibly happy Birech noted.
KDF will line up against GSU in Sunday’s fixture, while Kenya Prisons will seek to make amends when they face Kenya Ports Authority who surrendered a one set lead to fall to GSU in another men’s fixture at the same venue.
In the women’s matches played on Saturday, former champions Kenya Prisons overwhelmed event sponsor Kenya Commercial Bank 3-0 (25-12,25-18,25-20).
Prisons will crossword with newcomers Bungoma County on Sunday as they seek to reclaim the title they last won in 2013.
In another women’s match, champions Kenya Pipeline got their title defense underway with a 3-0 (25-15,25-18,25-17) win against Bungoma County.
Pipeline will seek to record their second win when they play KCB.