Pipeline, Ahly set up classic volleyball club championship final
Record holders Kenya Pipeline will face Egypt giants Ahly in the the 2015 Women’s African club Championship final after both teams fought for five sets to clinch the final spot.
Ahly rebounded after the injury of their middle blocker Nermeen Elmenshawy to win against Carthage of Tunisia 3-2 (25-23, 16-25, 24-26, 26-24, 15-11).
Kenya Pipeline rebounded twice from a set behind to beat Shams of Egypt 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-19, 16-14) in another grueling five set match.
The final will feature the biggest African giants Ahly and Pieline in the most repeated final in the history of the competition, while Shams meet Carthage for the bronze medal on Sunday April 5.
“We have one more hurdle to overcome in the final and it is not going to be an easy. The whole team is however motivated to win and bring happiness to Kenyans in the wake of those stupid attacks in Garrissa” Pipeline coach Japheth Munala told Nairobi News.
Kenya Pipeline fought for 127 minutes to clinch a tough victory against Shams in the semifinal.
Shams team started the first set in their optimum performance led by their attacker Aya Elshami to lead 8-6, before the Kenyan came back transitionally and came near through the skillful setting through the setter Janet Wanja.
Pipeline led the second set comfortably after Ruth Jepngetich deployed her solid block against Shams attacks beside her role in the quick spikes aided by Monica Biana to win the set 25-17 and draw 1-1.
Again, the third set was very competitive as the Kenyans had early activity before Elshami led shams team to widen the 16-14 at the second technical timeout with the proper blocking from Aya Ahmed and Menna Mohamed as the Egyptian team went to 25-22 and 2-1 lead.
Pipeline used again the quick attacks and the spikes of the opposite Esther Wangechi to control the set.
Shams tried to come back and succeeded to decrease the point deficit gradually, but Wanja led her team to win the set 25-19 to extend the match to tiebreak.
The tiebreak went point by point with both teams struggling to win but the Kenyans were more aggressive to win the crucial points and to clinch the tough 3-2 victory.