Tunisia’s Carthage and Egypt’s Al Alhy volleyball teams on Tuesday knocked out their Kenyan opposition to set up a tantalizing North African derby in the final of the women’s Africa Club Championship staged in Cairo, Egypt.
The hopes of an all Kenyan final were quashed in the first semi-final as defending champions Carthage defeated five-time African champions Kenya Prisons 3-1. The Tunisian side strolled to a 25-15 first set win before narrowly going down 22-25 in the second. The following two sets were closely fought as Carthage prevailed 25-23 and 25-21 respectively.
The results mean that Kenya Prisons miss out on a chance of another continental title. The last time that they lifted the trophy was in 2013. The Wardresses will battle it out with fierce rivals Kenya Pipeline in the bronze medals match.
All-Kenyan third place playoff
This will be a repeat of the 2017 quarter-finals when Prisons emerged victorious courtesy of a narrow 3-2 win. Kenya Pipeline will have to wait at least another season for the opportunity to win the title that has eluded them since 2005.
Kenya Pipeline were eliminated from the competition after home side Al Ahly recovered from a set down to emerge 3-1 winners. The Kenyan side sealed the first set 25-22 to put pressure on the Egyptians. The hosts responded explosively as they sealed the next two sets 25-16 and 25-19. At that point, the sting was taken out of Kenya Pipeline’s game and Al-Ahly duly finished them off 25-8 in the final set.
These volleyball matches were a classic case of good preparation and endurance from the North Africans. Also, the Kenyans were ploughed back by unforced errors in defending as they crumbled further along in their matches.
Final: Al Ahly (Egypt) v Carthage (Tunisia)
Third place: Kenya Prisons (Kenya) v Kenya Pipeline (Kenya)
Collated results (Semi-final)
Carthage 3 Kenya Prisons 1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21)
Al Ahly 3 Kenya Pipeline 1 (22-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-8)