Kwanthanze coach Kigwari expects a three horse race for volleyball title
Four-time East Africa Secondary Schools volleyball champions Kwanthanze Girls head coach Justin Kigwari has predicted a three-horse race for the national volleyball title when the Term Two national school games get underway in Kisumu from July 29 to August 3.
Kigwari who has made Kwanthanze a volleyball force since he joined the Machakos based team in 2010, tipped perennial opponents Nairobi’s Soweto and Cheptil from Rift Valley to give his side a litmus test this year adding he is fully aware of the task lying ahead as they seek to retain the national title.
The multiple champions were deprived of squad depth last year after losing four of their top guns who completed their high School studies in 2018 and penned deals with Kenyan Volleyball Federation women’s league champions Kenya Pipeline.
Despite the exit of the quartet, Kigwari has set a podium finish as his target to be guaranteed of a spot in East Africa extravaganza set for Tanzania in August.
The quartet of Betty Sifuna, Esther Mutinda, Gladys Ekaru and Metrine Wanjala were recruited by the Embakasi based team in February this year.
Kwanthanze have been paired in Pool ‘B’ against Coast region representatives St.Johns Kaloleni, Central champions Pasenga and yet to be identified opponent from North Eastern region while last year’s runners up Soweto will face Cheptil, Sega of Nyanza, Western champions Bishop Sulumeti in group ‘A’.
“I have added new faces from Form One to the roster as I seek to build yet another all-conquering team but this year I think I should admit my squad is not strong as it was in previous years after about four players graduated last year. However, I am targeting a podium finish because Kenya will send three teams in Tanzania,” Kigwari averred.
The Machakos based team defeated familiar opponents Soweto 3-0 sets in the finals held at Eldoret to clinch the fourth national title.
In May this year, Kwanthanze renowned for producing potent talent lost 3-1 to Cheptil in the AmacoPaul Bitok International tournament finals and the latter’s head coach Mutai Cheruiyot has dared to dream ahead of the school championship.
“For the longest time Kwanthanze has been our biggest hurdle and they have denied us this title for many years and after defeating them I think we can build from that and that’s what we are doing every day in training,” he said.
The championship will feature Volleyball, Football U16 & U19, Netball and Racket games attracting more than hundred schools across the country.
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