Fierce Kenyan Rivals Battle Out In Five Set Thriller

Kenya Pipeline gained sweet revenge on rivals Kenya Prisons as they recovered from a set down to win 3-2 in enthralling all Kenyan third place playoff of the women’s Africa Club Championship in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday.

In last year’s edition, it was Prisons that eliminated Pipeline when the two sides squared off in the quarter-final stage. On this occasion, the same script was on the cards when Prisons sealed the first set 25-23. Pipeline responded in the second set to win it 25-21 before losing the third 25-22.

On the verge of elimination in the fourth, Pipeline powered to eventually win it 29-27 after a series of trading leads. With the game tied at 2-2, a fifth and final decisive set was needed to settle matters. Pipeline was consistent in their surge to a 15-12 set win to close out the match.

The Kenyan sides will now have to go back to the drawing board to try and break the North African jinx. They were both axed by North African opposition in the semi-final stage. Prisons’ last continental title was on 2013 while Pipeline’s drought stretches back to 2005.

Nigeria’s Customs beaten

In the fifth place playoff, Rwanda Revenue Authority (Rwanda) were comfortable 3-0 winners over Cameroon’s Bafia. The Rwandan side won in straight sets of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-14. In other matches, home side Shams (Egypt) finished seventh after beating Nigeria’s Customs 3-0 (25-19, 28-26, 25-22). Uganda’s Nkuba University emerged ninth after a 3-1 (25-11, 25-19. 16-25, 25-18) victory over INJS to complete the top ten.

Women’s volleyball in Africa has seen tremendous growth over the last couple of years. Focus is now placed on how African teams can make a big impact at global competitions. Tunisia’s Carthage was due to play Egypt’s Ahly in the final on Thursday night.

Tournament rankings

Ahly or Carthage , Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Prisons, Rwanda Revenue Authority, Bafia, Shams, Customs, Nkuba University, INJS, Chlef, Vision, Nyong, Harare City.

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