Kenya National School games are set to have a new national champion in both boys’ and girls’ category in the absence of defending champions Cheptil, who were eliminated in the semis, and AIC Kosirai respectively. 2016 East Africa games defending champions Malava Boys qualified for the finals after downing national defending champions Cheptil Boys 3-0 (25-22,25, 20, 25-18) in an exciting match that attracted a mammoth crowd.
The Western side twice came from six points down to equalize and clinch the first and second sets against a resilient side that would not go down easy. They dominated the third set as Cheptil seemed resigned to their fate.
“We play each match at a time and use the first few minutes to study our opponent. I have a young squad that was out to prove they are the best and they worked perfectly to remain confident despite being nervous in the initial minutes,” head coach Shadrack Tovoko said adding discipline and support from the school’s old boys went a long way in winning them the coveted finals spot.
Malava will be up against debutants in the finals Sengera SDA made it to the finals after fighting relentlessly to defeat Eastern’s Kangundo School 3-1(25-19, 25-18, 28-30, 25-15).
The sensational side first qualified for the nationals category in 2016 where they reached the semifinals after coming in second in their pool but were eliminated by Malava Boys who went on to win the East Africa title then.
“The players are psychologically prepared to meet our opponents and we have prepared them well to ensure they suffer no inferiority complex. We met Malava last year and they were much stronger then but we are equal contenders for the title now,” offered Sengera head coach Silas Kaloo.
Malava will be out to study their opponents in the first 15minutes so they can plan their play accordingly and work on their confidence from the onset while Sengera perfect their blocks and reception of floating balls, according to the respective coaches.
In the girls’ category, it will be a Rift Valley versus Eastern region affair as 2012 finalists Cheptil Girls clash with 2014 champions Kwanthanze.
Cheptil Girls easily booked their spot in this year’s finals when they played record title holders Lugulu for a 3-0(25-16, 25-20,25-17) win.
Kwanthanze, on the other hand, were a lucky side as they saw off Nairobi’s Soweto 3-0 in a match that saw the third set tightly contested.
After an identical 25-16 score in the first and second set, Soweto embarked on a series of attacks with the intention of overturning play on the third set but Kwanthanze’s skill and stamina prevailed for a final.