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African Volleyball Clubs’ Cup final debutant Ethiopian Wolayta Dicha has been in high swing at the Cairo Abdulah bin Faisal hall since Monday. The record 12 time defending champion Al-Ahly is favored to retain the title.
The 17th edition has a record number of participants bringing together 24 sides from 13 countries. Egypt is represented by four teams while Cameroon and Congo each boasts three teams. Uganda, Benin, Kenya and Libya have each thrown -in two while Ethiopia, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Seychelles and Zimbabwe are represented by one team each.
Ethiopian flag bearer Wolayta Dicha is drawn in group (D) along with El-Gaish of Egypt, Cameroon’s Port, Uganda’s Kampala City, Kenyan GSU and Olympique of Algeria with the winner and runner up to go through the knock out quarter final stage.
In the group’s opening match Wolayta played Kenya’s most experienced side Gru. They lost 3-0 with the score board showing (25-16), (24-26), (25-17) and (25-15) at the final whistle. The second group match against Ugandan Kampala on Thursday was considered one of the highly contested showdowns with Wolayta coming from two down only to lose in the decisive final match. It was a two hour marathon five setter 3-2 defeat with a (25-23), (25-20), (23-25), (21-25) and (17-15) score line. Now after losing two in a row, Wolayta’s progress to the knock-out quarter final stage appears diminished and group favorites El-Gaish and GSU are likely to join the last eight.
The hosts Al-Ahly have won the highest number of titles with twelve followed by Tunisian side CS Sefaxian with six and Zamalek of Egypt with five.