Lausanne, Switzerland, March 12, 2017 – The two sides set to represent Japan at the 2017 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship in May are to clash in the final of the Japan V.Premier League, after Hisamitsu Springs of Kobe eliminated Hitachi Rivale with back-to-back wins in the semi-finals.
Reigning Asian champions NEC Red Rockets of Kawasaki had already secured their berth in the final after topping the Regular Season standings. The best-of-two final series (with 25-point ‘golden set’ if necessary) is on March 17 and 18, ahead of the V.Premier League All-Star Game on March 25.
Despite missing Miyu Nagaoka, out on injury, defending champions Hisamitsu Springs applied pressure with their serving and subsequently dominated the blocking in their 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 30-28) win over Hitacki Rivale as Rika Nomoto (16 points) and Risa Shinnabe (15) led the scoring. The two players shared top-scoring honours in the second leg with 17 points each, with blocking again proving the deciding factor.
Hisamitsu Springs host the 2017 edition of the FIVB Club World Championship in Kobe from May 8-14. They are joined by NEC Red Rockets and reigning South American champions Rexona Sesc Rio de Janeiro. One more ticket will be granted to the winners of the European Champions League (April 22-23 in Treviso) and the eight-team roster will be completed with the addition of four wild cards.
Playoffs set in Brazil
Defending champions Rexona Sesc Rio de Janeiro wrapped up the Regular Season in Brazil’s Superleague with their 21st win in 22 games when they beat Dentil Praia Clube 3-2 (15-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 16-14) to deny the Uberlandia side second place in the rankings. Anne Buijs of The Netherlands was voted MVP of the game after scoring 21 points for Rio, who finished 10 points ahead of their nearest opponent. Cuba’s Daymi Ramirez was top scorer of the game with 26 points for Praia Clube.
The result allowed Volei Nestle Osasco to clinch second place in the Regular Season standings after a 3-1 (25-21, 25-27, 25-10, 25-22) away win over Genter Volei Bauru. Ana Beatriz Correa (who picked up the MVP award) with 20 points and Tandara Caixeta with 19 were top scorers of Osasco.
Best-of-three quarterfinals series:
– Rexona Sesc Rio v Pinheiros Sao Paulo
– Volei Nestle Osasco v Fluminense Rio
– Dentil Praia Clube Uberlandia v Terracap Brasilia
– Camponesa Minas Belo Horizonte v Genter Volei Bauru
China League final series tied
In China the best-of-five final series has been extended after Jiangsu ECE of Nanjing destroyed Zhejiang New Century 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-21), spearheaded by Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Zhang Changning andd Hui Ruoqi who scored 16 and 114 points respectively. Zhenjiang had previously won the opening game of the series 3-2 (24-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 19-17). The next game is on 14 March.
Semi-finals set in Russia Superleague
Hardly any surprises in the second-leg matches of the Russian Superleague quarter-finals midweek, as Yensei Krasnoyarsk completed their upset of Dinamo Krasnodar with a 3-2 (25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 19-25, 15-13) win at home, following their four-set away win last weekend. Anastasiya Garelik with 21 points and Yekaterina Yefimova with 20 led Yenisei.
All series of the quarterfinals completed in two matches, setting up the semifinals, starting next weekend:
– Dinamo Moscow v Yenisei Kraskoyarsk
– Dinamo Kazan v Uralochka NTMK Yekaterinburg
Conegliano secure top spot in Italy
Imoco Volley Conegliano survived a five-set scare to defeat Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizio 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 15-9) and secure pole position in the standings in the Italian Samsung Gear A1 League with two rounds to spare in the Regular Season. Robin de Kruijf of The Netherlands led Conegliano with 20 points (5 blocks), but Valentina Diouf with 28 for Busto Arsizio was top scorer of the game.
Pomi Casalmaggiore, the reigning European champions and 2016 FIVB Club World Championship silver medallists, remained in second place after their 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 25-15) win in Bergamo over Foppapedretti. Still missing their top scorer Samanta Fabris of Croatia who is recovering from knee surgery, Pomi dominated the game with Anastasia Guerra scoring 21 points. Miriam Sylla was top scorer of the match with 24 points for Bergamo.