The Kenya Pipeline Women’s Volleyball team leaves for Tunisia to represent Kenya at the African Club Championship which will run until the 16th of April this year.
Kenya Pipeline Coach Japheth Munala named his final team of 14 featuring a mix of new and experienced players captained by Trizah Atuka.
The team features three first time players sourced from the national under 23 team.
‘The team this time round is a mix of experienced and youth, in camp we picked the team based on their abilities and our needs to improve our overall performance our average age is 25 so we are posting a younger side.
This time round our key strength is our service and we have made changes to enable us attack and defend at the net.’ Coach Munala said.
The team which has been training at Kasarani ahead of the Africa Club Championship is confident that they will bring back gold and qualify to represent Africa at the World Club Championships set to be held in Japan later this year.
Team Captain Trizah Atuka says the preparations made in training focused on improving both their physical and mental approach.
‘It’s not easy competing on the international arena especially for us because we have made it to the finals on many occasions, so we trained hard on both the physical and mental aspects of the game.
This time round we have a good mix youth and experience that we hope will boost our performance. Our opponents know the older players but we hope the younger ladies will surprise them.’ Ms. Atuka said.
The team will be accompanied by international volley ball referee Judith Barasa who will also officiate on some of the international matches.
‘For me it is a good opportunity to further my career as a referee, but I also hope to encourage the older players to study and take up either coaching or officiate as referees. Careers should not end on the court there are other ways to grow the sport. We need more coaches and match officials.’ Ms. Barasa said.
Kenya Pipeline Corporate Communications Manager Jason Nyantino who handed over the club’s flag to the team encouraged them to outdo their past performance and bring home the trophy having finished second in 2015 and third in 2016.
‘KPC has full confidence in the team, given that we have bagged the trophy seven times. The next win will bring us closer to holding the African record which is 8 cups currently held by Al Ahly Cairo.’ Mr. Nyantino said.
The Kenya Pipeline team has recorded victories during the African Club Championship events 1995 (Kenya), 1996 (Nigeria), 1999 (Tunisia), 2001 (Algeria), 2002 (Senegal), 2004 (Senegal), 2005 (Algeria) and a dozen runners-up positions established them as a giant in the continent.
The team is currently under the stewardship of Japtheth Munala (Head coach) and Margaret Indakala (Ass. coach) and settled for Bronze Medal in (2015) club championship in Egypt before bagging for Bronze Medal in Tunisia early last year (2016).
The team picked by Coach Munala includes players from the club who are part of the National team include celebrity setter Janet Wanja, assistant National team captain Noel Nasimiyu Murambi, middle blocker and team captain Trizah Atuka, 2014 Kenya volleyball Federation libero of the year Agripinah Kundu, right attacker Esther Wangeci who recently completed a six month attachment with club charmalieres in France, left attacker Monica Biama and left handed Violet Makuto who was fated the best blocker during the 2016 Club Championship in Tunisia.
Others on the team include Kasaya Melvin, Beldine Lucy Akinyi, Wafula Yvone Sinaida, Naomie Too and first timers Nafula Celestine, Joan Ateng”E Muindi and Edinah Khariokha Mwombe.
For over 31 years, Kenya Pipeline Women’s volleyball club, has continued to churn players to the Nation team while others have retired to their employment positions at the company.