Kenya Prisons’ quest for a sixth continental title was dashed after crashing to a 1-3 (21-25, 13-25, 26-24,14-25) semi final defeat to hosts Carthage in Monastir, Tunisia on Friday night.
The pairing was touted as friendlier to the Kenyans after avoiding record holders Al Ahly of Egypt who beat them in the preliminary round.
Kenya Prisons started brightly by leading 8-6 in the first set. The Tunisians cheered by the home fans tied the match and eventually sealed the set at 25-21.
The second set was disastrous as poor service and reception cost the wardresses when they lost 25-13.
On the verge of defeat, coach David Lung'aho shook things up a bit for the 2012 champions as they battled to a 26-24 third set win to trail 1-2 in the match.
In the fourth quarter, Kenya Prisons again faltered with the same errors in reception as they massively trailed 5-16 and 21-12.
Star setter Jane Wacu, who had a torrid evening was withdrawn by Lung'aho. However, the changes did little to affect the game as Carthage took the set 25-24 to book a ticket in the final.
Kenya Prisons will battle for third position in a playoff match against record holders Al Ahly.
The loss means that the continental title has eluded Kenya since 2012. Kenya’s other representatives in the competition Kenya Pipeline last won it in 2005.
They provided the perfect response a day after losing to Kenya Prisons in a five set thriller by beating Tunisia’s Sfaxien 3-0 in a classification match for position five-eight.
Kenya Pipeline won in straight sets of 25-11, 25-21, 25-21.
In the other semi-final, Shams finally claimed a rare victory over their rivals Al Ahly in their Egyptian derby to book a spot in the final.
Shams won the enthralling five set match 3-2 (25-19, 15-25, 18-25, 25-17, 15-8). Shams has been losing to Al Ahly in their league matches so this was a major upset.
This win means that they will face Carthage in the final on Sunday.