Olesia Rykhliuk of Volero attacking in the bronze medal match against the Rexona-AdeS block of Carol and Regis
Zurich, Switzerland, May 10, 2015 - On their third try Volero Zurich will be on the podium later this afternoon, to claim a well-deserved bronze medal at the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship. After two failed attempts in 2013 and 2014, this time around the hosts beat Rexona-AdeS 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-18). Obviously, the Swiss team would have liked to be in the final, but settling for bronze is still their highest international achievement so far.
Volero seemed not to rely so much on top scorer Olesia Rykhliuk (17 points), as setter Courtney Thompson spread the play around a bit this time to include more of Dobriana Rabadzhieva, Rachel Sanchez, Natalia Mammadova and even Nadja Ninkovic.
Nevertheless, Volero's opposite Rykhliuk has written her own little bit of volleyball history. Midway through the second set, with a block-out from the outside, she tied the all-time scoring record of 85 points held by Dinamo Kazan's Ekaterina Gamova from 2014. And a little later on she smashed the record with her 86th point in the tournament, an ace on end line. The 28-year-old Ukrainian went on to finish the tournament with a total of 93 points.
For Rexona-AdeS, the motivation seemed to not be there. The Rio team, clearly disappointed from their semifinal loss to Dinamo Krasnodar, made a half-hearted attempt to get in the game in the third set, but it still felt as if they weren't totally there. This was the last appearance of Rexona-AdeS setter and captain Fofao, who retires at 45, after an amazing career that spans three decades and five Olympics (including gold in 2008 in Beijing). It has been an honour and a privilige to be present at this exceptioanl athlete's last tournament.
Follow the match, as it happened, here