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Tiebreaker Times

2016 FIVB Women's CWC

Vakifbank avenges group phase loss, dumps Volero for bronze

Topflight Turkish club Vakifbank Istanbul salvaged a bronze place finish at the expense of their group phase tormentors Volero Zurich 25-14, 21-25, 25-22, 25-11 in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Bunched in Group B in the elimination phase of the tournament, Volero Zurich mustered a surprising upset over Vakifbank to take the top spot in the group.

Having both lost in the semifinal yesterday, both squads struggled to generate enthusiasm for the battle-for-bronze. Vakifbank team captain Gozdë Kirdar was glad her team got over that mental hump.

“Yesterday was definitely disappointing for us. We didn’t really go into this match with a lot of motivation but I’m thankful that, in the end, we came together as a team,” she said.

After dropping the second set and falling into a 1-1 tie, Vakifbank burst into the following sets to close the match decisively. Although Volero Zurich managed quality passes, Vakifbank read their attack seamlessly and scored on 19 blocks compared to their six. Vakifbank’s blocks that did not produce points stalled Volero’s hits enough to create easy transition chances.

Dutch superstar Lonneke Slöetjes powered Vakifbank’s balanced attack with 16 points, Serbian Milena Rasic tallied 15 points which includes seven blocks, while 2016 Olympics MVP Zhu Ting added 13 markers.

“It’s always great to end tournament’s like this with a win even though it’s not for gold. The next goal for us now is to improve so we can go into the Turkish league and play great,” expressed Vakifbank head coach Giovanni Guidetti.

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Ukranian opposite hitter Olesia Rykhliuk topped Volero with 13 points while American middle hitter Foluke Akinradewo added 10.

Volero, who hosted the past three Women’s CWC’s and won bronze last year, goes home in fourth place.

The Scores

Vakifbank (3) – Slöetjes 16, Rasic 15, Zhu 13, Kirdar 11, Akman 9, Aydemir 6, Hill 2, Cetin 0, Örge (L)

Volero (1) – Rykhliuk 13, Akinradewo 10, Rabadzheiva 9, Orlova 7, Costa 5, Fabiola 2, Malkova 1, Mamadova 1, Zikovic 0, Popovic (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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