Kenya Pipeline stormed the quarter finals of the women's African Club Championship with a game to spare after a 3-0 (26-24,25-23,25-16) win over Algeria’s Sonatrach in a match played at the Ksar Hellal Janmel Hall in Monastir, Tunisia on Saturday.
This was their second consecutive win of the competition after edging out Pool C rivals APR of Rwanda 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-16 in their first match on Friday.
Sonatrach started brightly and led 14-10 and 16-14 in the first set before the Kenyan champions recovered to lead 19-18.
The enthralling encounter saw both teams trade points as they tied 23-23.
Kenya Pipeline led by captain Triza Atuka prevailed 26-24. The second set saw the Kenyan side clinical from the service balls from star setter Janet Wanja as they lead 8-3.
The North Africans fought back and tied the set at 21 all. But, Kenya Pipeline’s resolve was unshaken as they closed out the set 25-23.
Kenya Pipeline was in their vintage best as they surged to 12-8 and 15-12 leads respectively. They sealed the third set 25-16 to win the match.
They will now face Cameroon’s Bafia in their final group match on Tuesday.
"In general every team is good and can not be underrated but am happy that we are settling into the game well and trying to make sure that our basics are working out well for us especially with reception, and defence," Atuka said after the match.
Kenya Prisons bounce back
In Pool B, five time African champions Kenya Prisons put their campaign back on track after a comfortable 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 26-24) win over home side Marsa (Tunisia).
Kenya Prisons lost to record African title holders Al Ahly in their first match. In this match, Kenya Prisons eased past the home side to close the first set 25-12.
The two teams were evenly matched in the second set with the scores tied at 5-5 before Kenya Prisons led 8-5 prompting a Marsa technical timeout.
A second technical timeout was called as the Kenyans increased their lead to 12-6.
These calls did little to stop Kenya Prisons' onslaught as they they led 19-9 and won 25-15.
It was a different script in the third set as Marsa came out blazing with a 10-3 lead. Poor reception was the major undoing for Kenya Prisons as they trailed 9-17 and 10-18 respectively.
Kenya Prisons coach David Lung'aho reshuffled the team after a timeout and that proved to be the defining moment.
The team rallied and scored eight unanswered points to tie the game at 18-18 and eventually led 24-19.
Marsa set up a nervy final moments when they narrowed the gap to 24-23 however Kenya Prisons held on for a 26-24 set and match win.
They will have to win their two remaining matches against Bajala (Algeria) and Univesity (Zimbababwe) to progress to the last eight.
Marsa (Tunisia) v University (Zimbabwe)- 4 p.m.
Asec (Ivory Coast) v Ndejje (Uganda)- 5 p.m.
Bejaia (Algeria) v Kenya Prisons-6 p.m.
Bafia (Cameroon) v Army (Rwanda)-7 p.m.
FAP (Cameroon) v Sfaxien (Tunisia)-8 p.m.
Kenya Pipeline squad: Noel Murambi, Leonidas Kasaya, Celestine Nyongesa, Monica Biama, Naomi Too, Edinah Muombe, Joan Muindi, Yvonne Sinaida, Beldine Akinyi, Triza Atuka, Janet Wanja, Esther Wangeci, Agripina Kundu, Violet Makuto.
Kenya Prisons squad: Judith Tarus, Joy Lusenaka, Lydia Maiyo, Immaculate Chemutai, Edith Wisa,Jane Wacu, Ann Lowem, Joan Chelagat, Brackcides Khadambi, Everlyne Makuto, Yvonne Wavinya, Loice Chepkosgei.
Additional reporting by KVF media