NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16- Defending champions Kenya Prisons kept their Africa Women Club Championships title defense alive with a resounding 3-0 win over Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) in the quarter finals on Wednesday.
The (25-14, 25-9, 25-11) victory over the youthful Rwandese side ensured David Lung’aho side kept a clean sheet since the start of the competition as the coach plots to lift the title for the fourth time.
“Our grand march to the final has formally began, given that we had enough rest since our last group match we came into the tie with the plan to keep the consistency of winning by straight sets as a confidence boost.
“Rwanda is an upcoming side, although they briefly gave us some hard time but we are glad we are through and now looking forward to the semis clash,” Lung’aho said after the tie.
The team will meet Algeria’s NRC Chlef who rolled over Mafolofolo of Botswana by a similar margin as Lung’aho felt that the shift in venues was a challenge to his side but was glad that they managed to regain composure which he credited to their experience.
“The surface here is a bit slippery compared to the Nazarene University court that’s why we nearly suffered a scare in the opening minutes of the first set but after we got used, it was smooth sailing all the way,” the former national coach added.
However captain Bracksides Khadambi felt the court worked to their advantage as they fancy a repeat of last edition all Kenyan final.
“The Nazarene surface was less even, hence we were able to rise better for blocks and spike harder giving us a win which is a morale booster as we face one last hurdle before the main event,” added a delighted Khadambi.
Despite admitting that facing the defending champions was a tall order for his young side, Coach Jean Luc Ndayikengurukiye decried the fixtures mix up that had arisen earlier on Tuesday as the rationale for the defeat.
“I had all along prepared to face Club FAP from Cameron until they changed the schedule which threw us into disarray as you clearly need more groundwork to efficiently front a challenge against Prisons on their home soil” he fumed.
Prisons who clearly dominated the clash at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani Gymnasium started on a high taking a quick 8-4 lead before the first technical time out.
They dipped in concentration as the Rwandese capitalized and sharpened their blocks prompting Lung’aho to call for time out as his side led 16-11.
After some pep talk they returned with persistent attacks from Lydia Maiyo and Mercy Moim from the flanks illustrating their desire for victory leading 19-12 at the third time out as RRA made a few changes but the local team prevailed 25-14.
The second set saw RRA substitute their inspirational captain Izabayo Regine who was leading their attacks with her tactical spikes from the left and in came Marie Loise who couldn’t match up to her skills as they trailed throughout the set.
“Regine suffered a serious bout of malaria on Tuesday, we couldn’t let her play all through and it’s clear that we missed her services especially in the second set since we began experiencing lapses especially in our blocks, covers and exhibiting wide spikes,” revealed coach Ndayikengurukiye.
She returned in the last set, as Lung’aho made changes bringing in Loise Jepkosgei and Salome Wanjala for Maiyo and setter Jane Wacu respectively with his side leading 14-6. The new blood did not disappoint with Jepkosgei displaying some flashes of brilliant volleyball with spirited attacks on the right as Kenya kept the momentum rising to 21-9.
The Rwandese team looked weary as the set came to a close with poor reception and feeble blocks as the few local fans that had turned up kept cheering and jeering on. Prisons was having a field day amassing points as Khadambi’s quick attacks from the middle did the trick sealing the win 25-11.
Earlier, FAP booked their semi final slot beating Stef Auto 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-20) and will face the winner of the clash between national titleholders Pipeline and DRC’s Motema.