A 30-minute blackout at the Moi International Sports Centre marred the third quarter-final of the CAVB African Women’s Club Championships even as defending champions Kenya Prisons qualified for the semi-finals.
Mafolofolo of Botswana and Algeria’s Chlef had just served off, with the Algerians leading 8-6, when the 6,000-seater gymnasium was plunged into total darkness, an absolute embarrassment to the guests, who included sports secretary Wilson Langat.
Prisons will now play Chlef of Algeria in Thursday’s second semi-final from 6pm at Kasarani.
The match will be preceded by the Kenya Pipeline vs FAP (Cameroon) match.
In the Prisons quarter-final match on Wednesday, the Kenyans couldn’t find the opposition they expected after they tossed Rwanda Revenue Authority in straight sets and qualify for today’s semis.
In the first quarter-final match, Forces Armee et Police (FAP) of Cameroon qualified in a straight sets victory (25-15, 25-20, 25-20) over Stet Auto of Madagascar.
Playing at Kasarani for the first time since the championships got underway last Thursday, Prisons were ruthless in their 25-14, 25-9, 25-11 quarter-final triumph against Rwanda Revenue Authority.
Going by their impressive past performances, Prisons, the three-time champions again exhibited top form with well-placed powerful serves, fierce fast-tempo hits and precise defence.
At some point, the Kenyans flirted with complacency as the tried all they could to take charge, but the champions took control with unrivaled energy and determination to lead 8-4 and 16-11 at both technical time outs.
While seeing some displays of fantastic defence work from Evelyne Makuto, the champions stayed strong and finished the set 25-14.
Although, the next set saw RRA come on court with a new found sense of confidence and aggression and draw the first point, the Kenyans matched them in every department and ensured parity when Agala powered home from the sides.
Despite getting rare hits from Seraphi Mukantambara, the Kenyan defence seemed to pick up every ball and found gaps in the Revenue’s passing unit.
This and a few service errors from Ernestine Akimanizanye saw Prisons lead 16-5 at the second technical timeout before sealing the set 25-9.
Some good communication and teamwork from Prisons took them ahead, opening up a 16-6 lead.
With that, Revenue’s earlier promise in the set had fallen away as the Kenyans upped the pressure and saw out the set 25-11.
“We started the match slowly because we weren’t used to the Kasarani courts, but with time, we got used to it,” Prisons’ head coach, David Lung’aho, said after the win.
“We are just focused on our semi-final and advance from there.”