ZHU LEADS VAKIFBANK’S RETURN TO WOMEN’S CLUB WOLRD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
Shaoxing, China, December 8, 2018 – Zhu Ting recorded 20 points to lead VakifBank Istanbul in their 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18) defeat of Praia Clube on Saturday, to confirm their return to the final of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship.
Dutch opposite of VakifBank – Lonneke Sloetjes – finished the tough match with 18 points, while Fernanda Rodrigues (Fe Garay) led all Praia Clube scorers with 18 markers.
Lonneke Sloetjes and Zhu Ting carried the task of running VakifBank’s offence in the opening set. The two key hitters scored solidly from the attack line, helping their side to emerge with a 25-21 win.
In the second set, Sloetjes took the lead on offence, while Zhu helped out on defence. VakifBank had a slim margin, but Praia Clube players Fe Garay and Ana Carolina Da Silva kept their side fighting. However, Sloetjes kept finding the open spots to place her attacks. She gave her club set point at 24-21, until Tugba Senoglu’s middle attack secured the second set win 25-21.
Fe Garay, with the help of Carol and Rosamaria Montibeller, established a 14-8 lead for Praia Clube in the third set. The Brazilian trio played consistently to maintain their edge, but VakifBank made a strong run towards the end of the set. Rosamaria’s hit closed the third set for Praia Clube 25-22.
Praia Clube once again led at the start of the fourth set, but could not widen the gap as Zhu began to convert more points on her attack attempts. Zhu got the lead for VakifBank, then Milena Rasic and Ebrar Karakurt had shining moments to give the Turkish club a 21-17 lead. The strong-serving Karakurt smashed Praia Clube’s defence. Kelsey Robinson drilled the match winner from the left flank 25-18.
VakifBank Istanbul coach Giovanni Guidetti: “It was a difficult match against a great team. I want to congratulate my players because they fought in the most difficult moments. We showed great team effort to earn this victory.”
VakifBank Istanbul captain Ayse Melis Gurkaynak: “Both teams played an amazing game. They fought amazingly well, but we showed how much we want to be in the final. Now that we have done it, we hope that we can show our game.”
Praia Clube coach Paulo Barros Junior: “We had some bad moments. The difference would probably be in the decision-making and playing well in crucial moments. They were better than us in that part.”
Praia Clube captain Fabiana Claudino: “VakifBank deserved to win. We had a chance to go to the fifth set but we couldn’t. They are a very good team and they have good players. We have to focus now on the match for third place and we will try to win it.”
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