Minas Tenis Clube celebrate as Mineiro state champions
Altay Oskemen won the national cup of Kazakhstan. Finals hosts, Altay defeated Zhetysu Taldyqorgan in four sets – 3-1 (25-19, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22). They are also the reigning national champions and will begin the defence of their title with another match against Zhetysu on November 16. Altay will host the league's first round-robin tournament in Oskemen through November 23.
The two Brazilian participants in the Club World Championship went head to head in the de facto final of the Mineiro state volleyball championship. On Wednesday, hosts Minas Tenis Clube Belo Horizonte hammered out a 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-21) victory over Praia Clube Uberlandia to claim the trophy with an impeccable record. On the previous two days of the four-way round-robin event, the two teams had both shut out BRB/Brasilia Volei and Lavras Vоlei. MTC’s opposite Bruna Honorio was declared MVP of the championship.
“Starting the season with a 3-0 win over the big favourite is very good,” said Gabriela Guimaraes, who top-scored with 19 points in the deciding game with Praia. “This title serves as a stimulus for us. We are about to play at the Club World Championship, the South American Championship and the Brazilian Superliga, and we will always fight to achieve the best results.”
Minas’ Gabi Guimaraes in action against Praia
The two Turkish representatives at Shaoxing 2018 now also know who they will take on in the fourth round of Europe’s Champions League. European and Turkish champions VakifBank Istanbul were drawn in Pool A alongside French champions Beziers Volley, Bulgarian champîons Maritza Plovdiv and the winner of the third-round clash between Romania’s Volei Alba Blaj and Germany’s Allianz MTV Stuttgart, while 2016 and 2017 Club World Championship gold medalists Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul were matched with Russia’s Dinamo Kazan and Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg and Finland’s Hameenlinna in Pool B. The first leg of the Champions League will take place before the two teams head for China with Eczacibasi hosting Uralochka on November 21 and VakifBank entertaining Alba or Allianz the following day.
At the European Volleyball Gala in Budapest, the CEV honoured Eczacibasi VitrA’s young opposite Tijana Boskovic as Female Volleyball Player of the Year.
The two Turkish sides had some day-to-day business in their domestic national league to take care of as well. Eczacibasi top the current standings after two straight-set wins – away at Nilufer Belediyesi Bursa and at home against Halkbank Ankara. VakifBank started off with a hard-fought five-set victory over visiting Karayollari Ankara, making use of 19 aces, eight of which were credited to Tugba Senoglu, before shutting out fellow citizens of Besiktas to stand fourth in the current table. The third leg takes place on Friday and Saturday, with both teams playing “away” games in Istanbul.
Club World Championship hosts Zhejiang Women’s Volleyball Club played their first match of the new season in the Chinese Volleyball Super League on Thursday. They delivered an emphatic 3-0 shutout of Hebei on the first competition day in Pool B. Zhejiang’s campaign continues with a game against Beijing Auto on Friday in Shanghai, where a six-team round-robin tournament is taking place through November 13.
France’s Volero Le Cannet added two wins to their domestic league record. In a third-leg fixture at home on Saturday, they snatched a five-set victory over title-holders Beziers after failing to convert a two-set lead to a three-point win. On Wednesday, Volero played and won one more home game. Their eighth-leg tie with unbeaten Nantes was held early not to clash with the timing of the Club World Championship. Volero cruised to a straight-set victory to jump over Nantes into the third place in the current standings. Next, the squad from Le Cannet travels for an away match at Marcq-en-Baroeul Lille on Saturday.
Asian club champions Supreme Chonburi recovered from the four-set loss they suffered in the first leg of the Thailand League with a four-set victory over Opart 369 in Nakhon Ratchasima to climb up to the fourth place in the eight-team table. On Sunday they travel to the same city again to play their third-leg match against current leaders Nakhon Ratchasima, who are yet to lose a set this season.