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21
Sat, Oct

Pipeline Retain National Crown, GSU Disarmed

Kenya Pipeline retained the Kenya volleyball Federation women's national league title while Kenya Prisons dethroned General Service Unit (GSU) to the men's seat on the final day of the national playoff which ended Sunday at Makande Hall, Mombasa.

Pipeline twice came from behind to inflict another painful loss on Prisons with 3-2 (21-25,25-17, 21-25,25-23,15-9) triumph while Prisons reclaimed the title they lost to GSU last year after crushing Kenya Ports Authority by straight sets (25-22, 25-20, 25-19) in their last match.

Pipeline's win over their fiercest rivals saw Prisons set a record for the longest title drought to three consecutive years. Mombasa has never been an easy stage for Prisons who have only won this title once on this stage, in their debut season way back in 2008. The last time they won the title was in 2013.

Pipeline who twice lost to Prisons in the regular season got the better side of their opponents but they finished the season on a high, going unbeaten at the playoffs. 

Casualties

Prisons opened the match on a high but lost the gas along the journey. The match consumed two casualties, with both captains Loice Jepkosgei (Prisons) and Noel Murambi (Pipeline) being pulled out with a back and ankle injuries respectively.

The opening set was headed Pipeline's way but a 10 minute power outage at the competition venue gave David Lung'aho a chance to have a tete-a-tete with his squad. Trailing 4-10, Prisons turned the table after resumption when they caught up with the runaway leaders at 17 ups only to wrap the set 25-21.

Pipeline responded in the second set and despite another power blackout, they controlled the proceedings, leading from start to the end.

Prisons suffered the first injury setback after Jepkosgei collided with her libero forcing her to leave the court. She was replaced by Yvonne Wavinya who's presence did very little to stop the marauding Pipeline. The champions rounded the set 25-17 to level the scores 1-1.

Final set

The third set was evenly spread and despite Pipeline taking a three point lead (9-5), Prisons rallied back to open a one point gap into the second technical time out. After resumption, the wardresses further widened the gap to a three-point lead (19-16) and they never looked back, going all the way to extend their set advantage to 2-1 from the 25-21 win in the third set.

The game consumed the second casualty after Murambi twisted her ankle and was replaced by Naomi Too who helped her side to a 25-23 win to cancel Prisons' advantage and throw the game to the final fifth set.

Pipeline took an early lead in the decisive set to wrap the game 3-2 (21-25,25-17, 21-25,25-23,15-9). The winners each got Ksh300,000 as prize money.

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) finished third above Nairobi Water whom they beat 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-16) in the first match. 

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