Lausanne, Switzerland, May 2, 2015 – Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul have closed the last round of the Turkish League Play-Offs with a victory over cross-town rivals Fenerbahce Grundig 3-1 (21-25, 27-25, 25-15, 25-22) in Ankara, just days before they travel to Zurich for the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship, beginning Wednesday.
The result had little bearing on the outcome of the League, as Fenerbahce was already guaranteed the title and Eczacibasi were assured of the third place that leads to next year’s CEV Denizbank Champions League.
Two more Istanbul teams completed the top four—Vakifbank finished second and Galatasaray Daikin were fourth. It had all been decided on the second day of this final round, when Eczacibasi lost to Vakifbank in straight sets.
Nonetheless, ending the competition with a win was a major boost to Eczacibasi, who had mostly struggled during the two Play-Offs rounds. With the title practically beyond reach after the results of the first round, Eczacibasi spared their foreign players. USA outside hitter Jordan Quinn Larson-Burbach and middle blockers Christiane Fuerst of Germany and Maja Plojak of Croatia saw little or no court time.
Dominican outside hitter Bethania de la Cruz, meanwhile, plagued by a shoulder injury, was not even on the roster after the opening match of the first round, last week.
With just a few days until Zurich 2015, it remains to be seen who will actually be on the final team list for Eczacibasi and if they will come out stronger after their Turkish League Play-Offs experience.