Eczacibasi's Neslihan Demir Guler on the attack against Galatasaray in Round I of the Turkish League Playoffs.
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 29, 2015 - There’s just one club still in action prior to the start of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship Zurich 2015. The focus this week is on Ankara’s Baskent Hall, where Eczacibasi VitrA of Istanbul take on three other cross-town rivals in the last act of the Turkish Women’s 1st League.
Eczacibasi are the reigning European Champions and one of six contenders at the Club Worlds, but they have an uphill battle if they are to claim the Turkish crown. In Round I of the league playoffs in Izmir, Eczacibasi lost 3-1 to Fenerbahce Grundi and 3-0 to Vakifbank, before claiming their first three points against Galatasaray with a 3-0 win.
Round II of the playoffs begins today in Ankara. The round robin tournament concludes Friday, May 1 with the crowning of the 2015 champions - the leader of the accumulated standings after the two rounds.
Eczacibasi begin their quest this afternoon at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT) against Galatasaray and need six points to catch leaders Fenerbahce. They play tomorrow against Vakifbank and finish on Friday against Fenerbahce.
The top three teams qualify to play in next season’s CEV Denizbank Championships. Turkey is one of only two countries - together with Russia - to be assured of three spots in the foremost European competition for 2015-16.
Two other European sides will be competing in the Club Worlds. Dinamo Krasnodar have completed their domestic obligations with a fifth place in the Russian Superleague, after a disappointing quarterfinal golden set loss (12-15) to Uralochka MTKA of Ekaterinburg. They made up for that by defeating Poland’s PGE Atom Trefl Sopot to win the 2015 CEV Cup, in another golden set (15-10).
Hosts Volero Zurich failed to make it to the CEV Denizbank Champions League Final Four this year (prompting a change of coach), but won their tenth Swiss League title defeating Volley Koeniz three times in a best-of-five final series and adding the title to that of cup-winners.
Across the Atlantic, Rexona-AdeS Rio de Janeiro scored two decisive victories over arch rivals Molico Osasco - 3-1 at Osasco to win the 15th South American Club Championship - and, more recently, 3-0 in Rio to claim their tenth overall and third straight Brazilian Superleague title.
And in Asia, Hisamitsu Springs finished runners-up to NEC Red Rockets, losing in four sets in the final of the 2015 Japan V League. The 2015 Asian Women’s Club Championship is not until September.
Related news:Rexona Ades make history with “A Décima”Fofao’s teammates ready to give their captain a huge send-offChristiane Fuerst in quest for record third gold