Istanbul, Turkey, April 5, 2017. VakifBank ISTANBUL claimed also the re-match of their fixture with Volero ZÜRICH 3-1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-22) to make sure they will compete at the Final Four of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Women, thus making their sixth appearance in the deciding stage of Europe’s elite competition in the last seven years. The major star of VakifBank, China’s Zhu Ting top scored with 21 points, as Lonneke Slöetjes and Kübra Akman Caliskan contributed to their team’s success with 18 and 12, respectively. In the semis scheduled for April 22 at Palaverde in Treviso, VakifBank will play city rivals Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL.
Volero took the first set 25-22 to keep their hopes alive and even though the visitors from Switzerland edged ahead at the first technical time-out of set two (8-5), VakifBank showed a remarkable performance after the break with Zhu Ting and Slöetjes scoring nine and eight points in this set to shape up a 25-21 win for the Turks. VakifBank displayed an extremely well organised game in set three and by taking this one (25-16), they made sure they would progress to the Finals. Since they had won 3-1 two weeks ago in Zurich, VakifBank needed to take two sets from the rematch to book their ticket to Treviso. Though the fourth set did not have any significance, VakifBank showed no mercy and pulled out a 3-1 victory to keep a perfect record in the competition this season.
Gözde Kirdar, team captain of VakifBank: “I would like to thank all of my teammates because they played a superb game today. After Milena Rasic suffered an injury before this match, our remaining middle blockers Kübra Akman, Ayse Melis Gürkaynak and Özgenur Yurtdagülen delivered a terrific performance. We played at 100% and eventually won this game.”
Giovanni Guidetti, head coach of VakifBank: “I am very happy with this victory, especially since Volero have a very strong team and they showed their skills in the first set. It was a difficult game for us, especially after the injury, which occurred last week to Milena Rasic. However, my players delivered a terrific performance tonight. We only missed one Final Four over the last seven years and I think this is a huge success. I would like to thank our sponsor VakifBank for their support. As for the Finals, we do not want to finish second, third or fourth. We just want to be the champions and we will go to Italy with this goal in mind.”
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