Shaoxing, China, December 6, 2019 – Italian teams Imoco Volley Conegliano and Igor Gorgonzola Novara and Turkish squads Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul and Vakifbank Istanbul after all four sides came through pool play matches with victories on Friday in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship at the Shaoxing Olympic Sports Centre.
Imoco Volley’s match with Itambe Minas saw both sides scoring two victories each to extend the match to a thrilling extended tiebreaker set with the Europeans winning 3-2 (25-17, 25-19, 20-25, 22-25, 28-26).
Five players from the Conegliano-based team scored in double-figures, including Nkemdilim Ruth Terry Enweonwu (23), Chiaka Ogbogu (20), Indre Sorokaite (17), Kimberly Hill (11) and Jennifer Geerties (10) – giving top scorer Paula Egonu some rest before the semifinals.
On the other hand, Igor Gorgonzola Novara finally finished their match with better ease after starting with two five-set wins. The Novara-based club recorded a 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-19) win over Dentil Praia Clube.
Jovana Brakocevic and Elitsa Vasileva teamed-up with 17 points each to bolster the Novara offence but also come up with defensive plays to sweep Pool B in the preliminary round.
Meanwhile, Eczacibasi and Vakifbank secured their final four spots recording straight-set victories against Chinese clubs Guangdong Evergrande Volleyball Club and Tianjin Bohai Bank Volleyball Club, respectively.
Eczacibasi routed Guangdong Evergrande 3-0 (25-21, 25-9, 25-15), as the Turkish club’s three strong hitters teamed-up to intimidate the opposing side’s defenders. Tijana Boskovic scored 24 points, while Natalia Pereira and Kim Yeon-Koung added 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The Eczacibasi trio made eight of the team’s 12 blocks and Boskovic with four of the team’s five aces.
Vakifbank took advantage of Zhu Ting’s absence in the match for Tianjin, as the Turkish club registered a 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-19) win. Zhu Ting, who suffered an injury the previous day against Dentil Praia Clube, unfortunately had to sit out the match against the defending champions.
The youthful and powerful Isabelle Haak led Vakifbank with 24 points built from 22 spikes and two service winners. Ebrar Karakurt and Gabi Guimaraes also had their fair share of the glory with Haak as they logged 15 and 12 points, respectively.