By: BRIAN YONGA
Mau Region’s AIC Kosirai caused a biggest upset at the Airtel Rising Stars secondary schools Term Two ‘B’ national games on Saturday after dethroning champions Kwanthanze Girls 3-2 sets in a pulsating final of girls’ volleyball played at Machakos School to lift their maiden national title.
In the boys’ final, defending champions Malava Boys from Nzoia region retained their title after a resounding 3-0 (25-19, 27-25, 25-18) win over Metropolitan region’s Hospital Hill.
Kosirai underlined their intentions of winning the national title after eliminating 22-time champions Lugulu Girls in the semi-final and completed their giant-killing act with a hard-fought 25-21,22-25,25-18,15-25,15-10 sets win over East Africa champions Kwanthanze Girls.
MWOMBE STOOD OUT
Kosirai’s Esther Mwombe impressed for the Mau Region school with a match winning display in the thrilling encounter that attracted a huge crowd, including the national women’s volleyball team captain Bracksides Agala and coach David Lunga’ho.
“Our coach pushed us hard and gave us tips that helped us overcome Kwanthanze in the final. We worked hard and knew it would not be easy because they (Kwanthanze) are a good side. We now want to lift the East African title,” Mwombe, younger sister of Kenya Prisons left attacker Esther Mwombe, said.
Kosirai were quick of the blocks in the first set, racing to a 5-2 lead before Kwanthanze hit back and from then on the teams exchanged the lead serving fans with an impressive display of volleyball. Kosirai took the set but Kwanthanze rallied to take the next set with three points.
Kosirai took the third set but Kwanthanze showed their might to level the scores to 2-2 to take the game to a fifth set. Kosirai took a 10- 7 lead before moving to 12-8 but Kwanthanze fought back to 12-10 but Kosirai were not to be denied as they saw out the match to deny Kwanthanze, winners of the two previous editions their third title.
Kwanthanze coach Justin Kigwari lauded Kosirai for the victory but said his team will bounce back at next month’s East African Games in Rwanda. In the play-offs, Lugulu beat Tetu 3-0 (25-15,25-14,25-14) to also seal their spot in the regional games.
Malava thrice came from behind in their final against Hospital Hill to with their third national title. Hospital Hill will only have themselves to blame after throwing away healthy leads with victory in sight.
Malava coach Shadrack Tovoko said his team will now look to complete the double by lifting the regional crown in Rwanda.
“We knew our biggest rivals in retaining our title would be Hospital Hill and Cheptil but we have beaten both of them, it was a tough match but our hard work carried the day,” the tactician said.
Cheptil from Mau Region finished third after a 3-0 (25-20,25-21,-25-20) win over Coast region’s Mivumoni in the pla-offs.