With unrest coming from the fans of VakifBank Istanbul about the return of star Zhu Ting, the club can rest easy now that she has agreed to stay for another season.
The MVP of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Ting made a big leap of faith by leaving China to play for a club outside of her homeland. VakifBank was the place she chose, beginning in the 2016 season. Ting’s original contract put her at the top of the list in terms of salary with the team, $1.2 million (USD) annual salary, with the expectation of staying with the squad for just one season.
VakifBank qualified for the 2017 FIVB Women’s Club World Championships, where Ting was named the MVP of the competition. Ting helped VakifBank to the Club Worlds victory, scoring a total of 69 points on 56 kills, nine blocks and four aces. In addition to her MVP honor at the competition, Ting was also named as one of the Best Outside Hitters at the championships.
In other huge accomplishments for Ting, she was named as the MVP of the CEV Champions League. VakifBank took the CEV Champions League title over Imoco Volley Conegliano. Ting ranked up 22 points in the match with a .580 hitting clip.
VakifBank lost to Galatasaray in the semifinals of the Turkish League this past season, shocking the league. Over the course of the season, VakifBank handled Galatasaray with an 11-0 record, not dropping a match to them. They eventually claimed third place in the league after downing Eczacibasi.
This summer, Ting will headline the FIVB World Grand Prix for China. The tournament will begin on July 7 and run through July 23. Ting is one of eight members of the Chinese squad that took the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medal to play on the team.