2023 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship hosts Tianjin Bohai Bank (source: Xinhua News)

2023 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship hosts Tianjin Bohai Bank (source: Xinhua News)

The week after India welcomed the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship, it is the women’s turn to crown their world champs as another Asian country hosts the 16th edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship from Wednesday, December 13, through Sunday, December 17. Six stellar teams from four different countries will compete for the world honours in the city of Hangzhou in south-eastern China.

  • Watch the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship live on  VBTV

The six participating squads are split into two single round-robin pools of three for the first stage of the tournament to be played from Wednesday through Friday. The top two teams from each pool will advance to Saturday’s crossed semifinals before the World Championship climaxes with the medal matches on Sunday.

Pool A

Led by Chinese international stars Li Yingying, Yuan Xinyue, Wang Yuanyuan and Yao Di, hosts Tianjin Bohai Bank will try to reach the first final for a Chinese club in the history of the competition. The home team will open Pool A on Wednesday at 19:30 local time (11:30 UTC) with a game against Brazil’s Gerdau Minas of Belo Horizonte.

Featuring Brazilian international stars like Thaisa Menezes, Caroline Gattaz, Priscilla Daroit and Kisy Nascimento, as well as Dominican Republic’s Yonkaira Pena, among others, 2023 South American Club Championship runners-up Minas will chase their third Club World Championship podium, after the silver medals they claimed in 1992 and in 2018.

The third team in this difficult pool, Türkiye’s Eczacibasi Dynavit Istanbul, will join the action on Thursday, opening their campaign with a game against Minas. Last year’s bronze was Eczacibasi’s fifth Club World Championship medal. Their collection features two back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. With the likes of Generation O star Tijana Boskovic, her Serbian compatriot Jovana Stevanovic, Canadian standout Alexa Gray, Russia’s Irina Voronkova and a number of high-calibre Turkish players on the squad, the 2023 CEV Champions League silver medallists are among the favourites at Hangzhou 2023.

Pool B

Without a doubt, the other Istanbul team in the tournament, four-time club world champions VakifBank Spor Kulubu, are the big favourite to win Pool B. Last year VakifBank took silver to make it to their eighth overall podium in the history of the competition, after medalling in all editions of the tournament since 2016, i.e. every time they participated. Now they return to the Club World Championship as Europe’s 2023 club champions. Head coach Giovanni Guidetti’s roster boasts plenty of super stars, like Brazil’s Gabriela Guimaraes, Serbia’s Bianka Busa, USA’s Jordan Thompson, Chiaka Ogbogu and Alexandra Frantti, or Türkiye’s Zehra Gunes and Cansu Ozbay, to name a few.

The Turkish powerhouse will get the Club World Championship underway on Wednesday at 14:00 local time (06:00 UTC) and Vietnamese newcomers Sport Center I Women's Club of Hanoi will be their opponents in the opening game. In 2023, Vietnamese standout Tran Thi Thanh Thuy and her teammates became their country’s first team to win the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship and first team to qualify for the Club World Championship.

South America’s continental champions Dentil Praia Clube of Uberlandia are the third team in Pool B. In their first match in Hangzhou, the Brazilian side will meet Sport Center I on Thursday, hoping to embark on their first successful quest for Club World Championship medals with top-notch athletes like Bulgaria’s Dobriana Rabadzhieva, Russia’s Sofya Kuznetsova, Brazil’s Tainara Santos or Suelen Pinto in the line-up. Dentil Praia’s previous four appearances produced a 2018 fourth place at their debut as the club’s best result so far.