- KCB won the title last year in Tunisia
- They finished second in the league this season
- Kenya Pipeline will be Kenya’s other representatives
KCB have vowed to put in a good shift as they seek to defend their Africa Women’s Volleyball Club Championships as the tournament serves off in Kelibia, Tunisia next week.
The bankers who have been perennial participants in the annual competition successfully defeated North Africa’s Al Ahly 3-1 in the final to be crowned 2022 champions.
The team that is captained by Edith Wisa is expected to leave the country early next week before kickstarting its 2023 campaign.
Head Coach Japeth Munala said: “This championship provides a great opportunity for us to showcase our volleyball talent across the continent while also exposing the players to international competition. We expect a valiant display from our team throughout the tournament for us to defend our title.”
He spoke during the team’s training session in Nairobi.
Despite losing last year’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Sharon Jepchumba, Munala and his technical bench have bolstered the squad with the additions of Esther Mutinda, Juliana Namutira, Elizabeth Lemosiany, Faith Cherotich, and Pauline Chemutai.
Youngsters blend with experienced players
The youngsters joined a pool of talent with experienced players such as Malkia Striker’s captain Mercy Moim, Edith Wisa, and Libero Lincy Jeruto and will be keen to fly the Kenyan flag high in their debut competition.
Chepchumba was one of the finest performers for KCB as they won the title, and she was duly named Most Valuable Player before securing a move to Greece immediately after the Championship.
KCB recently qualified for the semis in the Paul Bitok Volleyball tournament.
On her side, Captain Edith Wisa said: “We know the uphill task that awaits us in Tunisia, as a team we are ready to conquer the continent once again and stamp our authority as the undisputed number one Volleyball team in Africa.”
A total of 25 teams, both men and women, have confirmed their participation in this year’s competition with record holders Al Ahly also on the list.
meanwhile, Kenya Pipeline, Kenya’s other representatives in the competition have intensified their training at the Makande Gymnasium in Mombasa, where they have set up a residential training camp for the past two weeks.
Pipeline in Mombasa residential camp
Pipeline who beat KCB to the national title late last year have been training for the past two months, having started in Nairobi before moving to Mombasa.
Head coach Paul Gitau has said the team looks good ahead of the competition.
“We have been training really well and the team is looking good. We have worked on so many areas that we needed improvement on and now we are looking okay,” the veteran tactician said.
On his team’s targets heading to Kelibia, Gitau does not mince his words.
“Our primary target is to get to the final and after that we can give everything for the title. I am confident in the team and confident in the training we have had that we can achieve that. Of course there will be competition especially from North African teams but we are ready,” the tactician added.