What you need to know:
- If KCB overcome Customs and Prisons overpower their Congolese opponents, the two Kenyan giants are primed to meet in the quarter-finals while a possible all-Kenyan semi-final is in the offing should Pipeline navigate their way to the last four.
Kenyan teams will continue with their quest to reclaim the African Women’s Volleyball Club Championships when the competition enters knockout stage on Thursday.
After the completion of group stage fixtures on Tuesday, all the 16 teams return to the courts to battle for a place in the quarter-finals of the annual competition.
Kenyan representatives Kenya Prisons, KCB and Kenya Pipeline have landed a relatively kind draw in the round of 16.
Local champions Prisons, who topped Pool “C” unbeaten with nine points from three matches, take on La Loi of Democratic Republic of Congo at 3pm (EAT) on Thursday.
Prisons, who won a bronze last year at the same venue, beat National Alcohol of Ethiopia 3-0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-9), Naval of Nigeria 3-0(25-9, 25-18, 25-20) before they wrapped up the group stage on Tuesday with another routine win over Rwanda Patriotic Army (APR) 3-0(25-20, 25-20, 25-20).
They come up against a side that finished last in Pool “A” having lost all their group stage matches 3-0 to Kelibia of Tunisia, Rwanda Revenue Authority and FAP of Cameroon.
Prisons captain Brackcides Agala said they are on course for a podium finish.
“The results from the group stage are now water under bridge now and the focus is on forthcoming matches. We want to keep up with the momentum and I hope that we will bring the trophy home,” said Agala, the former national team captain.
KCB will play Nigeria Customs Service at 4pm after they finished second in Pool “B” with six points from two wins and one loss behind reigning champions Carthage of Tunisia.
The bankers defeated Mimosa of Cote d'Ivoire 3-0(25-13, 25-12, 25-10) before they lost to Carthage 3-1(20-25,17-25,25-23,14-25). The bankers recovered to see off Ndeje 3-0 (25-22,25-10,25-16)in their last pool match.
KCB will be wary of the West Africans who shocked Kenya Pipeline in the quarter-finals last year.
Customs won one match against El Wak of Ghana 3-0 in their group stage outings.
KCB captain Edith Wisa said they know their opponents well.'
“We will take this match like any other match. We will not underrate them as we know what they can do. We have been improving and we hope to play well,” said Wisa, who crossed over to KCB from Prisons in 2020.
If KCB overcome Customs and Prisons overpower their Congolese opponents, the two Kenyan giants are primed to meet in the quarter-finals while a possible all-Kenyan semi-final is in the offing should Pipeline navigate their way to the last four.
Pipeline finished second behind record holders Al Ahly of Egypt in Pool D after two wins over Customs 3-0 (25-19,25-18,25-9) and El Wak 3-0 (25-19,25-17,25-20). They lost to the Egyptians 3-1(25-23,21-25,22-25,29-31) and will now face Ndeje University of Uganda at 2pm.
Ndeje placed third in Pool “B” with one win, a 3-0 victory over ASEC Mimosas of Cote d'Ivoire.
Pipeline’s middle blocker Triza Atuka said real competition is about to start.
"We are glad we have had a chance to play tricky teams at the pool stage and in that, we have gauged ourselves and we know what we should do. We just want to give our best and we hope the results will work in our favour,” said Atuka.
In the other round of 16 matches, FAP play National Alcohol, Ahly entertain Mimosa, Kelibia play host to Naval as RRA take on their compatriots APR.
Wednesday was a rest day for all teams.
Prisons were the last Kenyan team to win the title in 2013 in Madagascar after a hard fought 3-2 win over GS Pétroliers of Algeria.