Kestirengoz thanks Osasco fans after her debut (Photo: Carol Fotografia)

Ceren Kestirengoz couldn’t have hoped for a better debut with her new club Osasco Sao Cristovao Saude. Playing her first match for the Brazilian club on Friday, the Turkish opposite was instrumental in the team’s victory against longtime rivals SESC Flamengo at the Jose Liberatti Arena, in Osasco.

A member of the Turkish national team that took silver in the inaugural edition of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League back in 2018, the 28-year-old opposite came off the bench to help Osasco change the course of the match and come from behind to defeat SESC Flamengo 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20) in the Brazilian Superliga.

Kestirengoz, who arrived in Brazil less than two weeks ago, was subbed in by head coach Luizomar de Moura during the second set, with Osasco trailing, and led the team’s comeback with a stellar performance that produced a match-high 21 points (15 kills, five blocks, one ace). She was also awarded as the Player of the Match in her debut.

“I’m very happy with my debut, especially because I was able to help the team,” the 1.90m-tall opposite said after the final whistle. “I wouldn’t have done it without the support and the trust of my teammates and the fans - and I have to thank them for that. I’m thrilled and will do my best to keep helping the team to compete for titles.”


The Turkish player hits to score one of her 21 points in the match (Photo: Carol Fotografia)

Osasco’s trio of Olympic medallists also had a prolific night. American middle blocker Rachael Adams, who took bronze at the Rio 2016 Games, tallied 15 points (eight kills, six blocks, one ace), fellow middle blocker Fabiana Claudino, an Olympic champion at both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, added 11 (seven blocks, four kills), and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist and team libero Camilo Brait registered a match-high 70% efficiency in passing.

Middle blocker Valquiria Dullius, who produced 15 points (eight kills, seven blocks), and Dominican Olympian outside hitter Yonkara Pena, who scored 12 (11 kills, one block) were SESC Flamengo’s top performers.

With the victory, the 2012 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship winners Osasco remain in second place in the Brazilian Superliga with 27 points (ten wins, one loss). 12-time national champions SESC Flamengo are seventh, with 19 (six wins, six losses).

Both teams will be back on the court on Tuesday, with Osasco challenging Superliga leaders Dentil Praia Clube on the road and SESC Flamengo hosting Brasilia Volei in Rio de Janeiro.