Kenya Pipeline on Saturday put up a brave fight before going down 3-1 (25-13, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20) to hosts and defending champions Al Ahly in the 2019 Africa Women Club Championships at the Al Ahly Sports Complex in Cairo, Egypt.
A combination of quick attacks and superb blocking is what the hosts seemed to have specialised in the opening exchanges where they hit the Kenyans 25-13 before their loudly cheering fans.
Pipeline seemed to grow into the game and showed some flashes of brilliance in the next set, but the hosts' experience prevailed. The Kenyan oilers took the third set after what seemed like a purposeful set of play but fizzled out in the last set to hand the hosts another chance to defend their title.
The Kenyans will now seek to defend the bronze medal they won last year when they take on GSP of Algeria in the third-place playoffs on Monday. Al Ahly will renew their rivalry with Tunisia's Carthage in the final also set for Monday.
Earlier on at the same venue, Carthage staged a brilliant comeback to hit GSP 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 16-25, 24-26) to storm into the final where they will be out to revenge after losing to Al Ahly in last year's final. Carthage last won the title in 2017.
Meanwhile, Kenyan side Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) beat Burundi’s USFA 3-0 in the 9-12 classification matches.
The bankers will now take on Rwanda’s Revenue Authority, who beat Canon of Congo in the battle for the chance to finish in either ninth or 10th position in the competition.
Kenya Prisons, who were the only other Kenyan competitors at the event, returned home prematurely after being ordered back on Thursday night by the State Department of Correctional facilities.