Istanbul giants Eczacibasi and VakifBank to lock horns in Hangzhou on Sunday
VakifBank’s Gabi on the block against Tianjin
The two Istanbul giants, Eczacibasi Dynavit and VakifBank Spor Kulubu, lived up to their status of 2023 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship favourites and both progressed to Sunday’s gold medal match in Hangzhou, starting at 19:30 local time (11:30 UTC). It will be the first time in history the two powerhouses go face to face in a Club World Championship final. In Saturday’s semifinals, they defeated Brazil’s Dentil Praia Clube of Uberlandia and Chinese hosts Tianjin Bohai Bank, respectively, who will lock horns at 14:00 (06:00) for the bronze, which would be the first medal in the history of the competition for either of them.
Watch the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship live on VBTV
In the first semifinal, Eczacibasi Dynavit Istanbul spoiled their impeccable run at the tournament by losing a set to Dentil Praia Clube, but stayed undefeated after celebrating a 3-1 (25-16, 25-12, 25-27, 25-22) win, which propelled them to their fourth Club World Championship final. They have won two of the previous three, in 2015 and 2016, but lost the most recent one in 2019.
Eczacibasi’s Voronkova trying to overcome Dentil Praia’s double block
After sweeping the first two sets by wide margins, Eczacibasi entered the fourth with three changes to their starting line-up. Dentil Praia took advantage and pushed the set to overtime and, saving an opponent match point, claimed their second set win against this opponent in four matches played in their head-to-head history. They stayed competitive in the fourth set as well, but in the money time, Eczacibasi broke away again to win the match.
We played well in the first two sets. We wanted to give the players a rest in the third set, but we couldn’t get what we wanted. As a result, the game became 2-1. The Brazilians fought well, especially in the fourth set. When we returned to our normal game, we… pic.twitter.com/5GOANrF0Kr
— Eczacıbaşı Spor Kulübü (@EczacibasiSK) December 16, 2023
The Turkish side outplayed their Brazilian opponents in all scoring elements – 58-48 in spike kills, 15-7 in kill blocks, 7-4 in serving aces and 18-20 in unforced errors. Serbian opposite and captain Tijana Boskovic was once again the best scorer of the match, leading the winners with 24 points, including three aces and a block. Her compatriot, middle…