TUNIS, April 27 – Kenya’s representatives at the 2016 CAVB African Volleyball Club Championship Kenya Prisons and Kenya Pipeline will square it out with host clubs when the tournament gets to the last eight on Thursday afternoon in Tunis, Tunisia.
Prisons, winners of the tournament in 2013 will face Tunisia’s Carthage who finished top of Pool A after winning all their matches while record champions Pipeline will square it out with Pool B’s second finishers Sfaxien.
“It is a tough match against Carthage because they are a very good side with swift attackers, very strong service and definitely the home support. It will not be an easy match but we will continue to fight,” Prisons head coach David Lung’aho said.
Prisons recovered from their 3-1 loss the previous day against El Shams to make easy work of Gabon’s Ndella and ensure they booked a ticket to the last eight. They won the game in sets of 25-17, 25-15 and 25-12 with Lung’aho heaping praise on his young girls for a good fight.
The team was not able to register experienced left attacker Mercy Moim for the tournament despite receiving FIVB clearance with CAVB barring her from donning the Prison jersey. However, Lung’aho said they have managed to cop without her and will keep on fighting.
“It was unfortunate we could not have her for the matches but nonetheless, the young girls have put up a superb fight and I am proud of them. Yvonne Wavinya was our best scorer against Injis and Lilian Lelei who has just turned 19 was our best scorer against Jos of Nigeria. The exposure they are getting is the most important thing for me because they are the future,” Lung’aho told Capital Sport from Tunis.
If Prisons manage to weave past Carthage, they will meet fellow Kenyans Pipeline in the last four.
Pipeline also made very easy work of Cameroon’s FAP to make it to the last eight in quick time. They won the first set 25-14, before fighting some resistance from the West Africans in the second set to win 25-18 while the final set was more of a practice session with Japheth Munala’s girls winning 25-4.
They however expect a fight of their lives against host club Sfaxien but assistant captain Trizah Atuka says they will be able to manage and fight for a semi final ticket. Sfax fought for more than two hours to beat Algeria’s Wilaya Bejaia 3-2 (20-25, 11-25, 25-19, 27-25, 15-11) to finish second of the pool.
“They are playing at home and their fans are quite loud and we expect them to be even louder tomorrow. They are also a good team and we should not expect it easy. However, I believe we have a strong team and will be able to overcome them. We need to be especially good on reception,” she noted.
Pipeline has won the title a record seven times, but has failed to win it in the last 11 editions despite gracing the final seven times. However, there is some feel good factor within the team they can win it this time round.
In other quarter final pairings, defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt face off with fellow North Africans Sonatrach from Algeria while Egypt’s El Shams face Rwanda’s Revenue Authority.
The Rwandese picked their second win of the tournament against Ndejje of Uganda 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21) to finish second of the pool with a win- loss ratio of 2-1.