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Club Worlds medallists out in force again

 
Lausanne, Switzerland, November 6, 2016 - After claiming the bronze medal at the 2016 FIVB Women's Club World Championship a fortnight ago in Manila, VakifBank Istanbul continued their winning streak in the Turkish League this week, to remain undefeated after three matches.

Lonneke Sloetjes of The Netherlands and Milena Rasic of Serbia scored 15 points each midweek to lead VakifBank to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-23) sweep of Galatasaray Istanbul.

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VakifBank topped that with another straight-set win, 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-23) at home over Nilufer of Bursa, with USA's Kim Hill scoring 17 points and Sloetjes another 14.

Reigning world champs in Round 4 of Champions League
After a shock defeat in their first match and struggling to win their second, Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul were off duty in the domestic Turkish League this week, due to European Champions League obligations.

The reigning FIVB club world champions sailed through to the third round after straight-set wins both away and home over Bulgaria's Maritza, 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-19) in Plovdiv and 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-19) at the Burhan Felek. With Club World Championship MVP Tijana Boskovic on the bench for most of the match in Plovdiv, Tatiana Kosheleva top-scored for the Turkish side in the first game with 13 points, as Neslihan Demir added another 12. Boskovic was back on the starting lineup for the return game, leading Eczacibasi with 16 points.


Jordan Larson of Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul stretches high to beat the block of Maritza Plovidv's Viktoriya Grigorova and Kristina Cesljar in the European Champions League.

Eczacibasi return to domestic duties next week when they visit crosstown rivals Fenerbahce on Wednesday, before facing Minchanka Minsk of Belarus for a ticket to the pools phase of the European Champions League.

Four out of four for Pomi
In Italy, meanwhile, the Club World Championship silver medallists Pomi Casalmaggiore scored two victories during the week to remain undefeated in four matches in the Italian A1 League.

Samanta Fabris scored 16 points at home midweek as Pomi thundered past 3-0 (25-12, 26-24, 25-20) Saugella Team Monza. The 24-year-old Croatian than added another 24 at Novara, lifting the reigning European champions to a 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21) away win.

Rexona-Sesc Rio open with wins
Brazil Superleague and South American defending champions Rexona-Sesc Rio de Janeiro, who finised fifth at the Club World Championship in Manila, opened their 2016-17 domestic campaign with two wins this week.

Monique Pavao scored 14 points against newly-promoted Fluminense and was aided by Gabi Guimaraes (the game's MVP) and Juciely Barreto on 12 each for a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-17) win in the Carioca classic.

Monique and Gabi again top-scored at home in Tijuca with 13 and 12 points respectively as Rexona demolished Renata Valinhos Country 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-14).


Rexona-Sesc Rio de Janeiro clebrate their win over Renata Valinhos Country in the Brazilian Superleague.

"We blocked and served well," said 30-year-old opposite Monique after the home win over Valinhos, where she was named MVP of the game.

2017 Club Worlds entrants 1-1 this week
And in Japan, Hisamitsu Springs hosts of the 2017 FIVB Club World Championship next May, played two five-setters this week in the V.League, winning one and losing one.

The Kobe team, who finished 6th in Manila two weeks ago, survived five sets to score their second win, 3-2 (25-15, 25-17, 22-25, 22-25, 15-10) over JT Marvelous. Miyu Nagaoka was again top scorer with 28 points for Hisamitsu, who had five players with double-digits.

But they followed up with more drama as they failed to complete a comeback against the Okayama Seagulls, going down 3-2 (25-20, 25-17, 22-25, 20-25, 15-10). Again it was captain Nagaoka who led Hisamitsu with 29 points.


Nana Iwasaka of Hisamitsu Springs serves against JT Marvelous in Japan's V.League.

Defending V.League champions NEC Red Rockets, who are also set to compete in Kobe 8-14 May for the world title as reigning Asian champions, also ended up 1-1 this week, after sweeping PFU Blue Cats 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-21) before falling to Hitachi Rivale 3-1 (25-17, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19). Bulgaria's Emilya Nikolova was top scorer for NEC in both games, with 20 and 16 points respectively.

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