Vakifbank Istanbul secured the top semifinal spot out of Pool A with its third straight win, downing host Histamistu Springs via sweep. Rexona SESC Rio (2-1) grabbed the second qualifying spot with a four-set win over Dynamo Moscow.
The teams advance to the Women’s Club World Championship semifinals which will be played beginning at 2:40 a.m. ET Saturday. Vakifbank will face Turkish league foes and two-time defending champions Eczacibasi Istanbul at 2:40 a.m. followed by Volero Zurich (3-0) vs. Rexona at 6:10 a.m.
Rexona SESC vs. Dynamo Moscow
Rexona earned its spot in the semifinals after squeaking by Dynamo Moscow in four sets in Pool A play Thursday night. Rexona won the match 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23 thanks to late set heroics.
““We are happy with the victory,” Rexona coach Bernardno Rezende said. “It was a tough match. They are a tall team and are physically strong. The fans were entertained because there were a lot of rallies on both sides. We have reached our first goal to make the semifinals. Now let’s see what we can do.”
After splitting the first 14 points of the match, Rexona went ahead 16-13. Dynamo rallied to take an 18-17 lead and went on to a 22-21 advantage with help from a block by Monique Pavao. Rexona tied it up at 23 and went on to take the win with a Monique kill.
Drussyla Costa helped Rexona to an early 6-2 lead. The Brazilians maintained the edge at 16-14, but Dynamo surged ahead 19-17. Drussyla and Juciely Barreto tied it up at 22. Dynamo had the first set point chance at 24-22 and secured the win with kill by Bethania De La Cruz.
Rexona built a 13-11 lead in Set 3 and carried the advantage to 22-19 and on to 24-20 on a Drussyla ace. A De La Cruz kill pulled Dynamo within one at 24-23, but could not complete the comeback.
“We kept our concentration until the end and that is why we won,” Rexona captain Regiane Bidias said.
The Brazilians cruised to an 11-6 advantage in Set 4 and led 16-10 at the second technical timeout after several quick points. Trailing 17-11, Dynamo rallied to within two at 19-17 after a 4-0 run and De La Cruz kill. The Russians were within one at 21-20 with help from an ace, but Rexona held on for the 25-23 win and the match.
Dynamo led 19-11 in blocks and 6-5 in aces, but committed 19 errors in the match and allowed Rexona to hit its stride offensively.
“We made too many mistakes,” Dynamo coach Yurii Panchenko said. “Our block did not work well. It is really unfortunate that we lost.”
Dryssla Costa led Rexona with 22 points, including 18 kills and three blocks. Juciely added 17 points, including 14 kills. Monique added 15 points, including 14 kills, while Gabriela Guimaraes contributed 11. Ana Carolina Da Silva served up three aces to lead the Brazilians.
Nataliya Goncharova had 22 points for Dynamo Moscow, including 21 kills. De La Cruz added 17 points, including three blocks and two aces. Ekaterina Lyubushkina chipped in 14 points, with seven kills and six blocks. Maja Poljak put up seven blocks.
Vakifbank def. Hisamitsu
A strong block and tough service game lifted Vakifbank to a sweep of host Hisamitsu Springs Friday morning, and to the top spot in the semifinals coming out of Pool A. Vakifbank outblocked Hisamitsu 14-5 and served up five aces in the 25-17, 25-21, 25-22 win in which the Turkish side rested several players including star Zhu Ting.
After a close start, Vakifbank scored eight of the next nine points to jump ahead 16-7 in Set 1 en route to a 25-17 win.
Set 2 saw the teams tied at 12, before Vakifbank took control at 20-14. A Kubra kill sealed the 25-21 win.
Hisamitsu led 4-1 early in Set 3, but Vakifbank rallied with a 7-2 run. Risa Shinnabe injured her leg and left the court in a wheelchair with her team down 16-14. Hisamitsu rallied within one at 20-19 on an Yuki Ishii kill, but Vakifbank closed out the match at 25-22.
Melis Durul led the Turkish side with 16 points, with 13 kills and two blocks. Gozde Kirdar added 15 points, including 11 kills and a team-best three blocks. American Kim Hill scored eight points with six kills and a team-best two aces.
Yuki Ishii was the top point scorer in the match, posting 18 for Hisamitsu, including 15 kills and two blocks. Rika Nomoto also added double-digit points with 12 kills, a block and an ace.