Vakifbank, Rexona SESC Win in Semis, Set to Tangle in Finals

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 13th, 2017 | International Volleyball, News

2017 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship


Vakifbank Istanbul def. Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22

Rexona SESC def. Volero Zurich 25-13, 25-16, 21-25, 26-24


Vakifbank Istanbul will play in its first FIVB Women’s Club World Championship match since winning the title in 2013, after defeating Turkish league mates Eczacibasi Vitra in the semifinals Friday night. Rexona SESC, the 2017 South American champions, will face the 2017 European champions in the final after knocking off Volero Zurich 25-13, 25-16, 21-25, 26-24. Volero and Eczacibasi will meet in

Vakifbank vs. Eczacibasi

Ecazacibasi had more kills (50-45) and more blocks (14-13). Vakifbank won the serving battle (10-7) and saw its foe plagued with 30 miscues, which were decisive in the match as there was just eight points difference between the teams.

“They won a tough match,” Eczacibasi coach Massimo Barbolini said. “We gave away three to five balls and I am not happy about this.”

“I am extremely happy for the victory,” Vakifbank coach Giovanni Guidetti said. “We had a great match today. We blocked very well and came back from bad moments individually and collectively.”

American Rachael Adams was injured and did not play for Eczacibasi.

Eczacibasi led 8-7 in the first set, but saw Vakifbank steal away the lead at 12-9 with a block by Zhu Ting and an ace by American Kim Hill. Vakifbank upped its advantage to five at 20-15 and carried on to a 25-20 win, which came on an ace by Ting.

Eczacibasi took the early lead in Set 2, charging ahead 8-2 with help from a strong attack and block. A Boskovic kill made it 10-5, but the lead was down to two moments later. Trailing 16-12 at the second technical timeout, Vakifbank rallied and tied the score at 18 on a block by Hill. The teams traded leads with Vakifbank going up 20-18 and Eczacibasi countering to take a 21-20 lead on an Ceylan Arisan ace. American Jordan Larson put Eczacibasi up 23-22, but a block by Ting stole away the 25-23 victory for Vakifbank.

Eczacibasi regrouped at the break and came back to post a 14-10 lead midway through Set 3. Vakifbank charged back to tie things up at 17 and took a 21-19 lead on a block. The two-time defending champions were not going down without a fight, however, and scored six of the next eight points to grab the 25-23 win.

The fourth set was close throughout with Vakifbank leading 8-7 at the first timeout and Eczacibasi going up 16-14 at the second. Kills by Ting and Hill helped Vakifbank to a 22-19 edge and an ace ended the night at 25-23.

“It was a really tough game,” setter Naz Aydemir Akyol said. “Eczacibasi played their best despite Adams’ injury. They played really good and we struggled a lot in passing and serving, then we found our rhythm, but it was a really difficult game. I think the spectators enjoyed it a lot watching, while we were about to have a heart attack. At the end, I am really happy that we are in the finals. We have until then to rest and think about the new opponent.”

Ting led the Vakifbank attack with 18 points, including 15 kills and two aces. Lonneke Sloetjes added 16 points, with 13 kills and three aces, while Hill turned in 15 points, including 11 kills, two blocks and two aces. Kubra Akman led the team with five blocks.

Tijana Boskovic paced Eczacibasi with 20 points, 16 kills, two aces and two blocks. Busra Kilicli (13), Hande Baladin (12) and American Jordan Larson-Burbach (11) also posted double-digit point efforts. Larson and Kilicli each tallied 10 kills, while Baladin managed a team-best five blocks.


Rexona SESC vs. Volero Zurich

A strong blocking attack and tough serving lifted Brazilian side Rexona SESC over Swiss champion Volero Zurich 25-13, 25-16, 21-25, 26-24. Rexona put up 18 blocks, including 10 by Ana Carolina Da Silva, to earn a spot in the championship match. Volero committed 27 errors in the match.

“We are happy to beat a great team like Volero.,” Rexona coach Bernardo Rezende said. “We prepared well. Our service made the impact we needed. We had some mistakes in the third set but came back. It was a battle to the last point. Tomorrow we will play in the final. VakifBank is like an All-Star team. We will prepare and do our best.”

Rexona stormed out to a 13-6 lead in Set 1 and cruised to the 25-13 win.

The Brazilians carried the momentum into Set 2, opening up on a 7-0 run and holding a 16-12 edge at the second timeout. A Rykhliuk kill and an ace by Roberta made it 23-16 and set up the 25-16 win.

Volero regrouped at intermission and took the early 8-6 lead in Set 3 and maintained the advantage the rest of the way despite a late charge by Rexona. Rexona was within two at 23-21, forcing a Volero timeout, but American Foluke Akinradewo sealed the victory at 25-21.

The teams split the first 20 points of Set 4, but Volero led 15-13 soon after, including a thundering kill by Drussyla. Trailing 19-17, Rexona battled to a tie at 19 on a block by Da Silva and went on to the 26-24 win as Volero faded.

“Rexona deserved to win, no doubt about it,” Volero coach Zoran Terzic said. “For some reason we have played very bad at the important step of the semifinals. I think we can’t play with pressure. I’m not sure why, but we have to find a way to fix this.”

Gabriela Guimaraes led Rexona with 17 points, with 13 kills, three blocks and an ace, while Da Silva added 14 points, including her 10 blocks. Three other Rexona players posted double-digit point tallies: Monique Pavao (13), Drussyla Costa (12) and Juciely Barreto (11). Pavao managed 12 kills, while Drussyla added 10. Barreto served up a team-best two aces.

Kenia Carcaces Opon paced Volero with 18 points, including 13 kills, three blocks and two aces. Akinradewo added 16 points, including 15 kills. Natayla Mammadova chipped in 11 points with nine kills and two blocks. .


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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