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KCB Of Kenya Crown Champions Of The Africa Volleyball Championship

Elvis Kang,


KCB Women’s Volleyball Team on Tuesday were crown champions of the African Club Championship with a 3-1 win (25-18,25-22,11-25,28-26) over Al Ahly of Egypt in the final that took place in Kelibia, Tunisia.

The Bankers are the first Kenyan club to lift the trophy since Kenya’s jails in 2013. It is her second title after 32 wins against the same opponents in the 2006 final in Mauritius. It was also a sweet rematch for the Kenyan team, who lost 31 times to the Egyptian team in the 2009 final in Nairobi.

Earlier, Kenya Pipeline secured bronze after coming from behind to record a nail-biting 3-2 win (20-25,25-23,19-25,25-23,15-11) over homeside Carthage.

It was a timely consolation for the Oilers, who had lost to their compatriots KCB 3-0 on Monday, in one of the semifinals. Pipeline finished fifth in last year’s edition held at the same venue.

KCB coach Japheth Munala retained the same line up that won against local rivals Kenya Pipeline in the semis on Monday as they took a 12-6 lead in the first set.

Hard-hitting Sharon Chepchumba, Mercy Moim and fast-rising setter Emmaculate Nekesa combined well upfront to earn KCB maximum scores as they extended their lead to 18-14.

The North Africans grew in the game earning free scores due to KCB’s poor judgement at the backcourt to narrow the score to 17-22, but that is as far they could go as KCB easily took the set 25-18.

In the second set, both teams tied 6-6 before KCB pulled away as captain Edith Wisa and Nekesa bagged points through blocks to lead 14-9 and 18-14.

Disorganisation then checked in for the bankers who lost ground as their opponents narrowed the gap to 18-17.

Munala made a tactical substitution introducing Phosca Kasisi for Chepchumba, as the Egyptian narrowed to 22-21 before they let lose 21-23 as KCB took the second set 25-22 for a 2-0 set ratio advantage.

In the third set, Ahly led 7-5 and 10-5 thanks to their hard services that disoriented their opponents.

Ahly extended the lead to 19-10 as KCB struggled with reception. Munala then rested libero Lincy Jeruto for Josephine Wafula, but the switch counted for nothing as the former champions ran away with the set 25-11 to make it 2-1.  A recharged Ahly then led 6-3 and 11-8 in the fourth set before Chepchumba was recalled. Chepchumba, who was in her element, then partnered with Moim and Nekesa to close the gap to 13-16.

Ahly’s hard services returned to haunt the bankers as they struggled with reception and trailed 20-15  and Munala again introduced Kasisi for Shyren Maywa. Kasisi’s services were hard nut to crack for Ahly as they rallied to 18-20 and tied to 20-20.KCB overtook their opponents 22-20, before they again tied 23-23 and 25-25 before KCB enjoyed a slim 27-26 lead.

Chepchumba was voted the Most Valuable Player, Edith Wisa Best Blocker, while Moim was feted as the Best Attacker.

Kenya Pipeline’s left attacker Veronica Adhiambo was also voted Best Attacker, Miriam Metwallay of Ahly was awarded Best Blocker, Fatma Ktari of Carthage was ranked Best Libero.

Sayid Sohila of Ahly was feted Best Setter, while Hamdy Aya was voted Best Opposite Hitter.


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