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24/02/2016 21:12
VakifBank stun Eczacibasi to claim their ‘first final’ and qualify for Playoffs 6
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women

Istanbul, Turkey, February 24, 2016. VakifBank ISTANBUL claimed also their second match with arch-rivals Eczacibasi VitrA, this time cruising to a dominant 3-0 win (25-21, 25-18, 25-21) to secure their qualification for the Playoffs 6 of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women. With this result, VakifBank confirmed their status of ‘nemesis’ for Eczacibasi as they have eliminated the 2015 gold medal winners from the race for Europe’s most coveted crown in five of the last six editions of the CEV Volleyball Champions League.

VakifBank claimed the opening set by 25-21 even though their start was shaky and they trailed at both technical time-outs. The second set was a different story with VakifBank leading the way right from the go. As a result, the 2011 and 2013 CL gold medallists cruised to a fairly comfortable 25-18 win. The third set was the most closely contested of all. Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL played their last cards and tried to stay alive in the match. However, VakifBank remained focussed and brought the match to an end at 25-21 for a massive 3-0 win.

The blocking performance of the two teams made the difference in the end. While VakifBank ISTANBUL stopped their opponent as many as 13 times, Eczacibasi VitrA did the same only six times. Dutch opposite Lonneke Slöetjes top scored for the winning side with 12 points. Gözde Kirdar, Anne Buijs and Milena Rasic all contributed 10 points apiece as Eczacibasi’s Jordan Larson-Burbach top scored in the match with 15.

VakifBank coach Giovanni Guidetti said: “Of course we are very happy with our qualification for the Playoffs 6. However, we have another few more steps to make in this competition. Today we won against a great team which consists of world-class players. Of course it was not as easy as it may look if you check the score. I congratulate my team and my staff as they all did a great job today. I can also say that we have won our first final in this tournament. We have played many good matches this season but no other match was as important as this one.”

Middle blocker Milena Rasic added: “We had made a first step forward with our previous match and today we completed our way to the next round with a big step. To win against a team like Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL by 3-0 is really quite extraordinary. We kept our rhythm from start to end and I congratulate my teammates and our staff. Today we could capitalise especially on our good defence. We want give our best in the next round as well to reach the Final Four.”  

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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