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Tiebreaker Times

2016 FIVB Women's CWC

Eczasibasi grinds out tight win over Rexona-Sesc

Defending champions Eczasibasi Vitra had to sweat out a five-setter against Rexona-Sesc Rio, 25-27, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 15-11 to clinch a semifinals spot in Group A of the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Neither squad held a lead greater than two in the opening set, with Eczasibasi threatening late after blocks from Tijana Boskovic and Thaisa Pallesi gave them the lead, 24-22. But the Brazilians stormed back, capitalizing on a Vitra attack error with a Gabi Guimaraes hit from the left side to force a deuce. Gabi again mustered a clutch hit, splitting two blockers to put Rexona up, 26-25. Carol de Souza then sealed the set, blocking a Boskovic swing.

Eczasibasi broke away from another nip-and-tuck exchange in the second frame. At 19-all, Rexona gave away errors and botched plays. Thaisa served steadily and saw her team take the frame via a 6-0 blitz.

Rexona then took their turn to pull away late. The Brazilian side muzzled the Turks’ attack through Carol’s strong jump-float serves. Two straight Vitra errors put Rexona at set point, 24-21, before Gabi ticked off the set’s last point off a crosscourt smash. Unlike the first three frames, Eczasibasi controlled the fourth frame right from the first point, drawing six points from Boskovic to force a decider.

The Turkish made the first move in the final frame, going to Boskovic twice then finding Jordan Larson for an open hit to end a 7-all tie and go up 10-7. Thaisa then shut the door on two Rexona hits to increase the Brazilians’ lead to five, 12-7. Eczasibasi then knocked out their foes with consistent plays in sideouts.

#ReadMore  PSL-F2 Logistics shines but burns out to Rexona-Sesc

The Turkish side compiled 22 block kills to Rexona’s seven, which made up for their 33 errors.

Boskovic, who anchored Serbia to silver in the Rio Olympics, notched 28 points off 20 attacks, seven blocks, and an ace. Tatiana Kosheleva and Jordan Larson each pitched in 15 points for Eczasibasi.

“This part of the season, at the start, we’re looking at the things my team can improve. Every game, I see everyone getting better. It’s important for us now to finish on top of our group so we only need to worry about what happens in the other group,” said Eczasibasi head coach Massimo Barbolini.

Monique Marinho led Rexona with 24 markers, while Gabi Guimaraes added 14.

At 1-2, Rexona need Pomi to lose their last match against PSL-Manila to have a chance at advancing to the next round. At 2-0, Eczabasi can top Group A with a win againsy PSL-Manila tomorrow at 7 pm.

The Scores

Eczasibasi (3) – Boskovic 28, Larson 15, Kosheleva 15, Adams 11, Thaisa 11, Demir 4, Ogjenovic 3, Akoz 0, Ozdemir 0, Kayalar (L)

Rexona (2) – Marinho 24, Guimaraes 14, Da Silva C. 10, Barreto 10, Felix 4, Buijs 3, Ratzke 2, Bedias 0, Da Silva F. 0, Pereira 0, Adao 0, Oliveira (L)

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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