The General Service Unit (GSU) began their Kenyan Volleyball Federation title defence bid in supreme style, securing straight set victories in their opening matches on Friday.
The record men’s champions Nairobi Prisons 3-0 (25-12, 25-15) and proceeded to blow out Mombasa-based KPA 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-17) at the Kitui School Grounds in Kitui County.
The KVF women’s champions also began their quest in a similarly dominant fashion when they outlasted last year’s runners-up KCB 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-18) in their first match of the season after skipping the first leg held in Kitale to concentrate on their continental assignment in Cairo.
Prisons suffered a forgetful outing at the African Club Championships held at the Egyptian after they were recalled by the Government for ‘not following the right procedures’, a development that head coach Josp Baraza says it left players mentally disoriented but they have since picked up.
“It was not easy to beat KCB who have made massive recruitment in recent months but focus and determination has propelled us to a good start this season. We have put everything happened in Cairo behind us and our target now is to defend our title for the second year in a row,” he said in a post-match interview.
Baraza noted that the return of last year’s KVF Most Valuable Player Mercy Moim who completed a five-month stint with Thailand champions, Supreme Club, will boost his charges in their quest to retain their gong.
“Moim is a key asset in our team and her return is timely although we missed her services in Egypt hence poor results,” he added.
In other women fixtures, former Kenya Pipeline coach and KCB tactician Japheth Munala came back to haunt his former employers thrashing them 3-1 sets to bounce back from Prisons defeat.
Pipeline, the Women African Championship bronze medalists had won their first match in straight sets against Bungoma County team.
After the second round champions Prisons lead the seven-team league on three points, level with KCB and Pipeline but they boast higher sets ratio.
As Gideon Tarus’ GSU crushed their opposition, the 2018 men runners-up Kenya Prisons also got off to a flyer with victories against Nairobi Prisons (3-0) and Equity Bank (3-1).
After the league matches, teams will battle it out for Kitui Volleyball Tournament sponsored by Kitui County Government on Saturday and Sunday in the same venue.
The subsequent KVF rounds will be held in Uasin Gishu, Taita Taveta, Busia, Narok, Laikipia and Nandi counties in that order.