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Pipeline, Prisons clash in Club Cup quarters

Defending champions Kenya Pipeline will face Kenya Prisons in the season opener of the 2017 Kenya Volleyball Federation League that serves off in Malaba March.PHOTO/courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – Kenya Pipeline and Kenya Prisons will renew their rivalry on Friday in Tunisia when the two Kenyan sides clash in the quarter finals of the 2017 Women’s Africa Club Championship.

Prisons stormed the quarters in an emphatic fashion after beating University of Zimbabwe 3-0 (25-15, 25-07,25-9) in their last group B match on Tuesday evening only to land at the foot of their compatriot on the other side of the net.

Pipeline who had already qualified to the quarters, rounded off their group stages matches in a similar fashion after seeing off Bafia of Cameroon by straight sets of 25-16,25-7,25-14 in group C to book an all Kenya quarter final.

The die was already cast for the two Kenyan clubs. Prisons needed to win their clash against the students from Zimbabwe to sail through to the quarters and very little could be done at this moment to separate them especially after Prisons lost their opening group encounter to Ah Ahly of Egypt.

But even if Pipeline wanted to lose to avoid an all Kenyan affair they couldn’t considering the weak opposition mounted by the Cameroonians.

Pipeline finished top in group C with nine points after winning all their preliminary matches.

Pipeline came to the match with a lot of determination and true character of champions. The first set ended 25-16 in favour of seven-time African champions who are chasing to cut Ahly record of eight titles.

Japheth Munala gave Celestine Nyongesa her club championship debut when he rested Agripina Kundu and the young libero did not disappoint. Beldin Akinyi also earned her first club cup after she was introduced in the last set.

This was probably Pipeline’s easiest match in this competition so far. Everybody including setter Janet Wanja temporarily converted themselves to attackers and against all expectations, they never disappointed.  Wanja won several points from attacks to help Pipeline grab the second set 25-7 with the third set ending 25-14 in favour of the Kenyan champions.

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Their clash with Prisons will surely divide Kenyan audience right in the middle but it will none the less be a match worth watching.

The last time the two sides met was in November last year during the national playoff in Mombasa where Pipeline beat Prisons 3-1 to lift their third straight national gong.

Prisons on the other hand subjected the Zimbabweans to their third straight lose in this competition.

Prisons who last won this title in 2012 dominated the first set, limiting Zimbabweans scores to just 15 points.

In the second set the David Lung’aho charges came with more purpose wining team set in under 10 (25-7). Prisons, five time winners showed their prowess against a team that hardly dominate and wins the third set 25-9 to come second in pool B.

-By Elvince Joshua-

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