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Favourites win as Women's African Club Championship gets under way
The favourites claimed their first victories on the opening day of the 2013 Women's African Club Championship, which got under way at the Palais des Sports Hall in Antananarivo on Thursday.
Defending champions Prisons (Kenya), their compatriots and seven-time champions Pipeline, five-time champions Ahly (Egypt) and Algeria's GS Petroliers ended the opening day victorious and put themselves in a good position to qualify for the quarterfinals.
On the other hand, the opening day was not a happy one for the hosts as both representatives – Stef Auto and VB Diamand – lost close matches.
The competition was opened in the presence of Mounir Ben Slimane (CAVB Vice-president), Clarisse Bakoly (President of the Local Organizing Committee), Camilo Antao (SOC Delegate), Emmanuel Ngoloko (Referee Delegate) and Howyda Mondy (CAVB Executive Director).
The preliminary round will resume on Friday with seven matches in the four pools.
APR (RWA) 3, Stef Auto (MAD) 2 (25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 27-29, 17-15)
APR of Rwanda clinched a tough victory over Stef Auto from Madagascar in a thrilling encounter lasting more than two hours. The Rwandan team led in the first set with their better reception, but Stef Auto came into the match to win the second set.
The Rwandan team looked more disciplined as they won the third set before the Stef Auto drew level at 2-2 to extend the match to a tiebreaker. The set went point by point in the tiebreaker before APR pounced on their opponents’ errors to win it 17-15.
GS Petroliers (ALG) 3, Water Sport (ETH) 0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-15)
Prisons (KEN) 3, Kutlwano (BOT) 0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-14)
GS Petroliers used the experience of their setter Fatma Okazi to beat Water Sport 3-0 in 60 minutes of dominance. Petroliers showed they have come to compete for the title in a disciplined performance featuring the talents of opposite spiker Amel Khamtache and outside hitter Zohra Ben Salem.
Defending champions Prisons hammered Kutlwano 25-11, 25-16, 25-14 in 58 minutes. Coming to defend their title for the fourth consecutive time, Kenya’s Prisons put out a strong team, but coach David Lungaho also made a lot of substitutions to give chances to all the team’s players. As usual, team captain and setter Jane Wacu played a great role in the victory together with spiker Everlyne Makutu.
Pipeline (KEN) 3, Manga Sport (GAB) 0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-9)
Ndejje University (UGA) 3, Les As (BUR) 0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-10)
Pipeline flew past Manga Sport in a one-sided game. The Kenyan coach was able to use most of his players as the Kenyan team dominated the match.
Ndejje University of Uganda beat Les As of Burundi in a match that the Ugandan team dominated thanks to their superior attacking tactics and good reception.
Ahly (EGY) 3, FAP (CMR) 0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-19)
AS Tanda (CIV) 3, VB Diamand (MAD) 2 (25-20, 22-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13)
Ahly surprised FAP with tight blocks and quick attacks from position 3 to overwhelm their opponents in 74 minutes. Ahly took the first two sets easily before FAP recovered in the third set and had an early 6-2 lead. Ahly’s coach made several substitutions to boost their teamwork and succeeded in taking the tough set 25-19.
AS Tanda fought for two hours for a remarkable victory over VB Diamand in a fantastic five-set match. After Tanda won the first set, Diamand emerged to win two successive sets only for Tanda to come back and win the fourth set and the tiebreak.
Day 2 Programme
Kutlwano (BOT) v GSP (ALG)
Prisons (KEN) v Water Sport (ETH)
VBCD (MAD) v Ahly (EGY)
Tanda (CIV) v FAP (CMR)
Bejaia (ALG) v Stef Auto (MAD)
Manga (GAB) v Les AS (BUR)
Pipeline (KEN) v Ndejje (UGA)