With tears falling and shaking their heads in disbelief, five-time African queens Prisons Kenya were stunned 3-0 by KCB Bank in yesterday's quarterfinal match of the Africa Club Championships in Kelibia, Tunisia.
The bankers will now play Kenya Pipeline in the semifinals tomorrow where a Kenyan team is assured of a final slot when curtain falls on the continental showpiece on Tuesday.
Pipeline had earlier on trounced Forces Armeea Police (FAP) of Cameroon to set up an all Kenyan semis affair. The final is slated for Tuesday.
But it was heartbreaking defeat for Prisons under the tutelage of Josp Barasa who had high hopes of making it to the medal brackets after enjoying an unbeaten run throughout the tournament.
In the high-quality match, KCB beat Prisons 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-14) in what could be one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.
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KCB started the match positively as they enjoyed a 6-0 lead in the first set before Prisons started closing on the gap. But it was too late as the bankers stretched the margin to win the first set 25-17.
Captained by Edith Wisa, the bankers had better energy through outside hitter Mercy Moim and high flying Sharon Chepchumba who had a succession of unstoppable spikes in the second set.
The set was a see-saw affair with both teams tying severally 4-4, 7-7, 8-8 before the Japheth Munala-coached team ballooned the lead to bag it 25-14.
In the third set, both teams tied 3-3 as tension mounted but KCB benefitted from Prisons' service mistakes to gain the lead.
As the balls kept on coming back across the net, both coaches Munala and Barasa looked tensed as they kept on giving instructions to their players from the touch line.
After taking a convincing 3-0 in the third set, the bankers produced an amazing performance with crucial attacks and blocks that shifted the momentum.
Once again, KCB capitalised on Prisons' service mistakes to extend the lead as the clock ticked to register a comfortable 25-14 and consequently set up a mouthwatering semis clash with KPC.
Kenya Pipeline, who have won the title six times, cruised to the semifinals after beating Forces Armeea Police (FAP) of Cameron 3-1 (25-15, 26-24, 25-27, 25-13).
Pipeline coached by Paul Gitau started the match strongly knowing well that the stakes were high.
Led by captain Rose Magoi, Pipeline did not disappoint in the first set where they only needed 27 minutes for a win.
However in the second set, the police women came back strongly and pushed the set to several ties before Pipeline went to win after 32 minutes of competitive play.
Young Mekongo who was lethal combined well with Nm Vans to push the third set to the wire before winning after 34 minutes.
In the fourth set, Pipeline boasted of talented Pamela Adhiambo, Veronica Adhiambo and left attacker Noel Murambi produced excellent play to dismantle their opponents to win the set within 21 minutes.
Pamela was the top scorer with 23 points that included 22 attacks and a block while Veronica had 20 points with 20 attacks. FAP's T. Aboa topped for the Cameron side with 14 points that included 12 attacks and a block.