Over the past nine years, it is clear that Kenyan clubs have not performed particularly well in the African Women’s Club Volleyball Championships, allowing North African clubs to show their dominance in the showpiece. continental.
However, on Tuesday evening, KCB Bank women’s volleyball team ended the Kenyan curse after reclaiming the title which last landed on Kenyan soil in 2013 courtesy of Prisons Kenya.
Kenyan teams are the second most successful on the continental stage behind their Egyptian counterparts.
In the 2022 championships which ended in Kelibia, Tunisia where 16 clubs participated, Kenyan clubs came out on top after KCB won gold and Kenya Pipeline settled for bronze.
The Bankers stunned 10-time record holder Egypt’s Al Ahly 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 11-25, 28-26) to become the New African Queens for the second time after winning the title in 2006.
Pipeline upset former immediate champions Carthage of Tunisia 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11) for the bronze medal.
Prisons Kenya finished fifth overall after beating Rwanda’s RPA.
KCB captain Edith Wisa is full of praise for her teammates.
“We played as a team throughout the tournament. The final game was extremely difficult as our opponents were equally good but we managed to overtake them,” said Wisa, who insisted the focus was now on the domestic league which is due to resume this month. -this.
Joyful KCB head coach Japheth Munala in a post-match interview said proper preparation was their secret weapon.
“Hard work, good coordination, proper preparation and support from KCB management allowed us to win the title,” said Munala, who was supported by the team’s technical director Paul Bitok.
“We are happy that the trophy is back in Kenya. We played well in the first two sets before our opponents dominated the third set. In the fourth set, I brought in the experienced Phosca Kasisi who killed the match,” the coach said.
Top-flight Sharon Chepchumba was the top scorer with 32 points while Wisa and Mercy Moim had 12 and 7 points respectively in the final. Aya Hamdy and M Mariam had 30 and 13 points for the Egyptian side.
“As I said before the tournament started, we took it one step at a time and that’s what we did in the final game.
“I pay tribute to the players who have not disappointed throughout the championships,” added Munala.
The coach praised Pipeline and Prisons Kenya for putting aside their domestic rivalry to support them in the final game.
“We received overwhelming cheers from the Pipeline and Prisons players who were in the room to support us,” said the tactician.