Volleyball News

Kobe, Japan, May 8, 2017 – The competing teams are seeking balance in skills and teamwork to be able to capture the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship Kobe 2017 title, as the competition gets tougher each year.

Defending champions Eczacibasi are aiming for a three-peat in the 11th edition of the tournament, but coach Massimo Barbolini thinks that second-line skills in defence will be key to achieve this feat.

“Our second-line skills on defence, reception and coverage will be important,” Barbolini said. “We must have strong spiking and blocking, but most importantly the team must have balance in all skills.”

Dinamo Moscow coach Yurii Panchenko and Volero Zurich coach Zoran Terzic will try to utilise their strengths on attack and block, but will also seek a well-rounded performance from his players.

“We have very strong attack and block,” Panchenko said. “We hope we can use that to our advantage in this competition.”

“We have good players who are tall,” Terzic said. “We attack and block better than defend, so it is important that we must play well in all elements of the game.”

Rexona-SESC Rio coach Bernardo Rezende also counts on balance when his team compete against strong opponents, while compatriot Luizomar De Moura of Osasco Voleibol Clube also sees teamwork as key to win.

“We don’t really have a star player or starter from national teams,” Rezende said. “We depend on balance. We are not tall and we don’t have a star who can score 30 points.”

“Our capacity of playing as a group is our strength,” added De Moura.

The other coaches consider that focusing on their own strengths will help them play their best in the competition.

“Our strength is that we have a lot of players so we can make good changes in the game,” VakifBank Istanbul coach Giovanni Guidetti said. “We must receive well before setting and attacking.”

“We will have to offset the height and power of the other teams through pressure on serve and good reception,” said coach Akinori Yamada of NEC Red Rockets, which will make their Women’s Club World Championship debut this year.

“The V. League ended last month, so we have been trying to come up with ways to combat the power and height of the other teams,” coach Shingo Sakai of Hisamitsu Springs said. “We must have strength on serve and defence to compete with the other teams.”

Expectations are very high as the competition gathered the toughest ever field of teams. The coaches vowed to bring their all-out best to provide the best entertainment, mainly in the volleyball-loving country of Japan.

“Because of volleyball’s popularity in Japan, there will be a lot of expectations from the fans,” Guidetti said. “It is always an honour to play here. The teams are all playing on a high level. It will be interesting to see different volleyball styles. I expect an amazing competition. It will be interesting to see how each team reacts at the end of the season like this. My team is in good condition right now, but we will see how we play against the other teams.”

“We are very honoured to play in Japan, which we consider the land of volleyball,” Barbolini said. “The level in this tournament is unbelievable, with so many good teams. It will be interesting to see how my team will do in the competition but we will do our best in each match.”

“We are very pleased to participate in this tournament,” Panchenko said. “There are great teams here which have qualified through competitions in Asia, South America and Europe. I believe this will be a great competition.”

“The competition is getting stronger year after year,” Terzic said. “There are good coaches and amazing players here, so we will try to win every game.”

“We will try to grow and do our best here,” Rezende said. “There are tough teams and tough competition here, but we will give our best to make it to the semifinals.”

“This is an important tournament for our team,” De Moura said. “It is our fifth time in this competition. Our first goal is to make the semifinals. All the teams here are playing on a high level. We are proud to be here and we will do our best to the end.”

“This event has excellent coaches and players,” Yamada said. “It will be a high-level competition. We are honoured to be here. We will compete here with only Japanese players because our foreign players have gone home after the season ended.”

“This event has gathered great teams from all over the world,” Sakai said. “My team and I are looking forward to playing. Since we are the home team, we want our team to be globally-recognised. We want to make Kobe proud, so we will do our best to go for a podium finish.”

Dinamo Moscow and VakifBank will square off in the tournament opener, followed by another All-European match-up between Volero Zurich and Eczacibasi. The third and fourth matches on opening day will feature Brazilian-Japanese encounters between NEC Red Rockets and Osasco Voleibol Clube, and host club Hisamitsu Springs and Rexona-SESC Rio.