National champions Kenya Pipeline are in no mood to get carried away despite their impressive start to the 2018 African Women’s Volleyball Club Championships in Cairo, Egypt.
Pipeline proved their worth as seven-time continental winners by thrashing hosts and last year’s finallists El Shams by straight sets of 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 in their Group C opening match at Ahly Hall, on Tuesday night.
It was a great start for the Kenyans ahead of their second preliminary match against Vision of Uganda today from 4pm.
Save for the second set, which Japheth Munala’s charges rallied from behind to win 25-22, the Oilers, who finished a distant fifth in Tunisia last year, controlled, led, and won the other two sets with ease.
Despite beating their main group rivals, captain Trizah Atuka urged her teammates to remain focused as they take on Vision today.
“It was not an easy game, but we had to give our best. We concentrated throughout the game and never gave up even when the scores were too close,” Atuka told The Standard Sports in a telephone interview from Cairo.
“But it is not celebration time yet. We are happy for the victory, but that doesn’t mean we have already qualified; we still have three matches to go before making it to the quarterfinals. We cannot afford to underrate any team.
“If we want to fight until the end of the tournament and eventually end the title drought, we must remain consistent and maintain the intensity.”
Atuka’s sentiments were echoed by her assistant, Noel Murambi, who is looking forward to a much improved performance in their remaining matches.
“Shams were not very strong. Being a first match, they were a bit nervous, but we failed to capitalise on that and ended up committing some basic errors. The positive thing is that we won and we thank God for that,” said Murambi.
Pipeline’s rivals Kenya Prisons were due to clash with Customs of Nigeria in their first Group D match last night.
Prisons face Asec from Ivory Coast in their second game today at 3pm.