Four teams set to compete for Europe’s most coveted crown!
2017 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Women
Treviso, Italy, April 7, 2017. Following completion of the Playoffs 6 earlier this week, we know the three teams set to challenge hosts Imoco Volley CONEGLIANO for Europe’s most coveted crown at Palaverde in Treviso. The Turkish derby between VakifBank and Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL will open the programme of the Final Four weekend on April 22 at 17:00 CET before Imoco Volley take on Dinamo MOSCOW at 20:00 CET in the second semi-final. The bronze and gold medal matches will take place on Sunday, April 23 at 15:00 and 18:00 CET, respectively.
Visit the official website www.clf4treviso.com to retrieve further information on the Volleyball party of the year, including tickets, the media accreditation form and much more!
Imoco Volley CONEGLIANO will be making their first appearance in a Final Four – and actually this was only their second participation in Europe’s elite competition after back in 2014 they lost to Omichka OMSK REGION in the Playoffs 12. Imoco Volley will try to rely on a good omen – they are hosting the third Final Four to take place in Italy and previously Volley BERGAMO and Pomì CASALMAGGIORE emerged victorious in 2009 and 2016 to take the crown on home soil.
Dinamo MOSCOW: Dinamo MOSCOW have made it to the Finals by sweeping six matches in a row in their pool and after recording two consecutive 3-0 victories over Liu Jo Nordmeccanica MODENA in the Playoffs 6. Back in the 1960s and 1970s Dinamo MOSCOW claimed as many as eleven times the crown of the then Champions Cup. Nataliya Goncharova is the real superstar of the Russian team – she is a two-time European champion (2013 and 2015) and world champion (2010) with the Russian national team. Another star player on the roster, among many more, is Croatian middle blocker Maja Poljak – who has won the CEV Volleyball Champions League as many as four times, lastly with Eczacibasi VitrA in 2015.
Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL: the Turkish team coached by Massimo Barbolini are the two-time reigning club world champions and CEV Volleyball Champions League gold medallists from the 2015 edition. They started their campaign this season in the second and third round where they easily beat Maritza PLOVDIV and Minchanka MINSK before they finished second in Pool D, recording four wins and losing twice to VakifBank – their opponent in the semis. In the Playoffs 6 they first lost to Fenerbahce SK 2-3 before coming back to take the rematch 3-1. Their roster includes a former player of Imoco Volley, American middle blocker Rachael Adams – who last year helped CONEGLIANO win the Italian national league and Team USA finish third at the Rio Olympics. Tijana Boskovic is a silver medallist from the Rio Olympics, where Jordan Larson finished third with USA. Their star middle blocker Thaisa Daher Pallesi will be out for the remainder of the season after suffering a serious injury in the second matchup with Fenerbahce.
VakifBank ISTANBUL: two-time winners of the CEV Volleyball Champions League (in 2011 and 2013), they have competed at as many as six Final Four tournaments over the last seven years. They lost the gold medal match to Dinamo KAZAN and Pomì CASALMAGGIORE in 2014 and 2016, and had to be content with bronze in 2015. VakifBank – like Dinamo MOSCOW – won six matches in a row in their pool before rallying to 3-1 wins both home and away in their Playoff 6 fixtures with Volero ZÜRICH. Their star player is China’s Zhu Ting, a gold medallist and MVP from the Rio 2016 Olympics, and silver medallist from the 2014 World Championship. Kimberly Hill is a 2014 world champion and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist with Team USA.