Brankica Mihajlovic and Nana Iwasaka of Hisamitsu Springs
Zurich, Switzerland, May 6, 2015 - Hisamitsu Springs of Kobe pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship, defeating the reigning European Champions of Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul 3-2 (12-25, 28-26, 25-20, 19-25, 15-11) in the opening match of the 2015 edition of the event.
With their star opposite Brankica Mihajlovic of Serbia sidelined in the first set due to injury, the Japanese side allowed Eczacibasi to walk all over them. But when the 24-year-old eventually had to come on, she led her team to a thrilling comeback, emerging as the game's second-best scorer at 17 points (to her team-mate's Yuki Ishii 24), despite having played one set less.
Apart from their injured outside hitter Bethania de la Cruz of the Dominican Republic, Eczacibasi had all their stars on board, but they continue to struggle at times, as they did last week at the domestic league finals.
This leaves Hisamitu Springs poised for their first ever semi-final appearance (after last year's 5th place). For the Turkish team, though, it's a life-or-death situation tomorrow at 17:30 local time (15:30 GMT) against Russia's Dinamo Krasnodar.
Follow the whole match, as it happened, here