Eczacibasi players rejoice upon winning the Istanbul derby with Fenerbahce
Lausanne, Switzerland, November 15, 2018 – Two of the European contestants at the upcoming 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship, France’s Volero Le Cannet and Turkey’s Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul, top the current standings in their domestic leagues some 20 days before the event in China, scheduled to take place from December 4 through 9.
Volero Le Cannet got to the top of the current standings in the French national league on a 4-1 record after claiming their fourth victory since the start of the season. On Saturday they mastered a 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-23) away shutout of Marcq-en-Baroeul Lille. Coach Avital Selinger’s side are tied on points with ASPPT Mulhouse, but the latter have played one game fewer so far. Next Saturday, Volero entertain Saint-Raphael at home in Le Cannet.
Eczacibasi carried their winning streak in the Turkish league into the third and the fourth legs of the regular season and lead the chart unbeaten on a 4-0 win-loss record and a 12-0 set ratio. On November 9, they cruised to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-12) victory at Kameroglu Beylikduzu Istanbul and followed up with a thrilling 3-0 (26-24, 27-25, 26-24) win in the big match against city rivals Fenerbahce Istanbul on Tuesday. In their next game, Eczacibasi will lock horns with another team from the same city, THY Istanbul, on Friday.
Reigning world champions VakifBank Istanbul are also undefeated in the Turkish league. However, they had a tougher encounter with Fenerbahce in leg 3 and emerged victorious after a five-set battle – 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 20-25, 25-21, 16-14) – with a 30-point contribution from Zhu Ting. On Wednesday, VakifBank hammered out a 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-18) win over Galatasaray Istanbul to occupy the second position in the standings with a 12-4 set ratio, just below Eczacibasi. Next, they travel for an away game with another unbeaten team, Aydin Buyuksehir Belediyespor, on Saturday.
The Brazilian domestic championship got underway with a sixth-leg match between Esporte Clube Pinheiros Sao Paulo and defending title-holders Praia Clube Uberlandia, which was moved to an earlier date, November 14, because of Praia’s participation in the Club World Championship. After a very tight battle in each of the sets, the visiting squad from Uberlandia managed to deliver a 3-0 (31-29, 26-24, 26-24) shutout with as many as 16 stuff blocks on their tally. After winning the Brazilian Super Cup
last Saturday, Praia took an early lead in the Brazilian Super League standings before their away game at Balneario Camboriu on Friday from the official first leg of the competition.
On the same day, the other Brazilian participants in the Club World Championship, Minas Tenis Clube Belo Horizonte, travel to the nation’s capital for a game against BRB/Brasilia Volei to start their campaign in the domestic league.
Club World Championship hosts Zhejiang lost their chance to fight for this season’s medals in the Chinese Volleyball Super League. After a strong start against Hebei last Thursday at the tournament in Shanghai, they suffered through a negative four-match streak – losing in straight sets to Beijing Auto, Fujian Yango Xiamen, Shanghai Bright Ubest and Jiangsu Zenith Steel Nanjing. In Zheijiang’s last match of the Pool B tournament on Tuesday, however, they managed a four-set victory over Yunnan University Kunming to finish on a high note. They ended up fifth in the seven-team pool, just below the cut-off line for making the best eight for the next stage of the championship. Zheijiang will continue in the six-way race for the ninth place in the league.
In the third leg of the Thailand League, Asian club champions Supreme Chonburi lost at Nakhon Ratchasima in four sets on Sunday. The only foreigner among the Dolphins, Senegalese player Fatou Niana Diouck, hammered out 25 points in her last match for the Thai team before transferring to the Korean League. Supreme are sixth in the current standings with a 1-2 win-loss record. In their next match next Saturday, they will face fifth-placed King-Bangkok in the Thai capital.
The third Asian team to take part in the 2018 Club World Championship, Altay Oskemen, are preparing for the start of Kazakhstan’s National League. After hosting and winning the national cup tournament, the Kazakhstani champions will also host the first round-robin tournament in the league, starting on November 16 with another match against cup finalists Zhetysu.