VakifBank come back from a set down to claim crucial early win

Zürich, Switzerland, March 23, 2017.  VakifBank ISTANBUL fight their way back after a bad start to eventually prevail 3-1 (13-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-21) over multiple time Swiss champions Volero ZÜRICH. This puts the Turkish side in pole position to back up their victory when the 2nd leg returns at their home in a fortnights time.

VakifBank come back from a set down to claim crucial early win

Volero ZÜRICH versus VakifBank ISTANBUL. If there is one matchup in European women’s club Volleyball that needs no introduction, it’s this battle between the team from the shores of Lake Zurich and the team from the Turkish metropole Istanbul.

The team from the shores of Lake Zürich did not disappoint the high expectations of their home crowd. ZÜRICH started strongly with an aggressive serving game as well as a cold-blooded offense, the reigning Swiss champs outclassed the Turkish top team at the very start of the game. VakifBank Istanbul, on the other hand, were with their backs to the wall in the opening set a home lead of 18-9 was testament to that. One of the main reasons for the result was Volero setter Bojana Zivkovic. The Olympic silver medallist had to replace Fabíola since the Brazilian national player suffered a knee injury in a training session before the game. Zivkovic played a huge game and led her team to the win in the first set. Foluke Akinradewo’s ace to 25-13 was the perfect conclusion.

VakifBank had to step up now. But Giovanni Guidetti wouldn’t be Giovanni Guidetti if he didn’t know how to manage such difficult stages. The star coach found the right words to bring his team back on track during the first set interval. The leading power on the court, on the other hand, was without doubt was opposite Lonneke Slöetjes. The Dutch international overpowered the Swiss defence and booked eight points in the second set alone. VakifBank ISTANBUL eventually prevailed 25-20 and were back in the game.

In the third set, the two teams spoiled the 2,300 spectators in the stands with Volleyball at its finest. Big saves, incredible blocks, and thrilling spikes; this set had a little bit of everything. But it was once again Lonneke Slöetjes and Olympic champ Zhu Ting who made the difference with their cold-bloodedness in the offense. Volero ZÜRICH was not able to find an answer to VakifBank’s offensive power and consequently, ISTANBUL won the set again, this time 25-17.

Volero ZÜRICH were now under pressure and had to fight their way back into the game if they wanted to avoid to start with a handicap in the away game. But Lonneke Slöetjes and VakifBank just proved too strong in the offense. Therefore, the team from the Turkish metropole eventually prevailed 25-21 in the fourth set to claim the crucial away win.

Volero ZÜRICH coach Zoran Terzic. “In the first set, we played with a free head. We had a strong serve and attack. Unfortunately, we then started to be afraid of our own mistakes. It is impossible to win over VakifBank ISTANBUL like this; because VakifBank is one of the best - if not the best – team in the world. Nonetheless, I told my players that it takes two good games to win such a series. Now we have to start as well into the game in Istanbul, like we did today, then everything is possible. I believe in my team and in our chance.”

Volero ZÜRICH setter Bojana Zivkovic could not hide her disappointment. “We played a really good opening set, but then all the sudden it looked like we stopped playing. Nevertheless, I am very confident for the away match.”

VakifBank ISTANBUL coach Giovanni Guidetti did not want to overestimate this win saying. “Volero started really strong into this game. I would not say we played bad, but we were just to slow in our offense. I think the pressure was possibly a reason why because when you are VakifBank Istanbul you have to win every game. Nevertheless, we stayed calm as a team and fought our way back into the game. But honestly, this win does not enough. It’s like leading 2:0 in a game. It’s a first step, but we have to win the game in Istanbul too.”

VakifBank ISTANBUL setter Naz Aydemir Akyol “I think it’s normal to struggle a little bit in the first set when you play abroad in another gym. But we did a great job afterwards. We committed too many errors and could not take advantage of our service in the opening set. It is always better to face a team you know. And it’s like Volero ZÜRICH played in the Turkish league because we are going to face them now for the sixth time in two years.”

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  • VakıfBank Qualified Perfectly11/11/2017

    VakıfBank Istanbul 3-0 Minchanka Minsk


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    11/11/2017

    VakıfBank Qualified Perfectly


    VakıfBank Istanbul 3-0 Minchanka Minsk
    Sets: 25-21, 25-16,25-16
    Duration: 1h 15min




    First 6 of VakifBank: Gözde Kırdar, Zhu Ting, Kübra Çalışkan, Naz Aydemir, Milena Rasic, Lonneke Sloetjes- Gizem Örge.
    First 6 of M. Minsk: Nadzeya Stoliar, Volha Palcheuskaya, Katsiaryna Sakolchyk, Aksana Kavalchuk, Nadzeya Smirnova, Anzelika Barysevich – Hanna Hryshkevich
    Top Scorer: Lonneke Sloetjes (14 pt.)
    Top Blocker: Zhu Ting (3)
    Top Block Points: Minchanka Minsk (9pt.)
    Top score difference: 10 pt. (3rd Set –VakıfBank-Minchanka Minsk: 23-13) 
    VakıfBank Team Captain Gözde Kırdar: It was not easy in Minsk, so we worked really hard after this match. Guidetti expected a better game today, so I am very happy we maket his happen. It’s all about confidence and teamwork. We will play better and better, after we get used to eachother with new players. I congratulate M. Minsk they really give effort and forced us. I think in group stage we will perform better quality and better volleyball. We sure want to win Champions League title again and we are focused as we focus every year to this goal. I feel very lucky to play in a volleyball temple like this.  

    Headcoach of VakıfBank Giovanni Guidetti:
    Our squad is stronger than M. Minsk. But Minsk performed great volleyball in this two games. I want to congratulate them. I am happy because of the result. But I am also aware that we need to play better volleyball. I trust my team so we will perform better volleyball in next games. I would to thank all our players and our fans.

    Headcoach of M. Minsk Viktar Hancharou: I want to say thanks to my team for their performance on the first and second sets. Also we are glad to play in this gym. VakifBank is the one of the top teams of Europe and World. It was very hard for us to play against such a team like them, because we have only Russian players in our squad. Both games in Minsk and in Istanbul were good experiences for us. The level of the players of VakifBank is much better than us, so they win. I wish good luck to VakifBank to win Champions League again.


  • VakifBank ISTANBUL is on the verge for the Champions League group stage11/10/2017

    VakifBank ISTANBUL will complete against Minchanka MINSK on 11th of November to qualify to Champions League group stage. 

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    11/10/2017

    VakifBank ISTANBUL is on the verge for the Champions League group stage

    VakifBank ISTANBUL will complete against Minchanka MINSK on 11th of November to qualify to Champions League group stage. The yellow-black’s win the first match (3-0). The second match takes place on VakifBank Spor Sarayi ISTANBUL on 17.00.


    VakifBank Istanbul:

    - Three-time titleholder and last Champions of the CEV Champions League 
    - Two-time titleholder of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship.
    - Unbeaten in last 11 games in a row in CEV Champions League . Starting from 14/12/2016.

    First match result: Minchanka MINSK 0-3 VakifBank Istanbul. 
    First match top scorer: Zhu Ting (18 pt.)
    Team Captain Gözde Kırdar:  We had a very good game in the first game. Of course there were moments when we were struggling against a team we did not know. This match is very important for us to get in the Champions League group stage. We will do our best. We expecting all our fans on Saturday.

    Head Coach of VakifBank ISTANBUL Giovanni Guidetti: Although we have won the first game 3-0, we have to be careful in the second leg match. Result of the match in Belarus seemed easy to maintain but we were forced on the first set. We should not lose in the second game. The first game may be 3-0 but there is nothing to gain. If we want to participate in the Champions League group stage, we have to win this game.

  • Milena Rasic has sign a new contract to stay at VakıfBank5/24/2017

    Milena Rasic has signed a new contract with VakıfBank. The Serbian middle-blocker was in the dream team of the CEV Champions League 2017 and also won silver medal in 2016 Rio Olympic Games with Serbian National Team.

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    5/24/2017

    Milena Rasic has sign a new contract to stay at VakıfBank

    Milena Rasic has signed a new contract with VakıfBank. The Serbian middle-blocker was in the dream team of the CEV Champions League 2017 and also won silver medal in 2016 Rio Olympic Games with Serbian National Team.

    Milena Rasic was born in Serbia, Pancevo on the 25th of October 1990 and first started volleyball when she was just 12 years old playing for Sumadija AV Belgrad. She signed her first professional contract with Dinamo Pancevo in 2007 and wore the team shirt for 3 years. The successful middle blocker later joined RC Cannes in 2010 and experienced her peak success during her time there. Milena became an essential player for a further 4 seasons while at RC Cannes and experienced 4 consecutive league and cup championships and together with her team she gained a bronze medal in 2010 and silver medal in 2012 during the European Champions league. The successful player later joined VakıfBank for the 2014-2015 season. The successful middle blocker is 193 cm tall with a 312 cm spike and 293 cm block height.

    Milena Rasic has many accomplishments together with her National team with 1 European Champions championship, 1 European Championship Bronze Medal, 1 World Cup Silver Medal, 3 European League and 2 World Grand Prix 2nd place. Milena was also performed in 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games with her National team and won Silver Medal in 2016. Milena also achieved , 1 CEV Champions League title, 1 Turkish League and 1 Turkish Super Cup title and 1 World Championship with VakıfBank.

  • Kelsey Robinson has signed with VakıfBank5/22/2017

    After closing this season with CEV Champions League and FIVB World Club Championship titles, VakıfBank is actively engaging with transfers. The famous USA national team player Kelsey Robinson is the first transfer to sign a contract with the club for the upcoming season.

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    5/22/2017

    Kelsey Robinson has signed with VakıfBank

    After closing this season with CEV Champions League and FIVB World Club Championship titles, VakıfBank is actively engaging with transfers. The famous USA national team player Kelsey Robinson is the first transfer to sign a contract with the club for the upcoming season.

    VakıfBank’s first transfer movement was carried out with the American outside-hitter and a contract is now signed between both parties. Kelsey; born on the 5th of June, 1992 will wear the VakıfBank shirt and join the team to take part in major European and World Championship tournaments.

    Kelsey has many successes in her current sports career, here are some of these:
    2017 CEV Champions League: the best outside-hitter
    2016 Olympic Games (Bronze Medal)
    2015 World Grand Prix: the best second outside-hitter
    2014 FIVB World Championship (Gold Medal)

    Bronze medalist at 2016 Olympic Games as she was a key reserve in the back row with some time spent playing outside hitter, scoring 30 points without a start in eight matches.
    Named Second Best Outside Spiker for 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix after leading the Finals in Receiving with a 80.5 efficiency percent.
    Chosen Best Receiver at 2016 NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament as Team USA won gold and spot into 2016 Olympic Games.
    Selected to FIVB World Championship roster in her first season of competition with Team USA, which included four starts and averages of 3.05 points and 1.85 digs per set as the Americans won their first-ever World Championship.
    Named AVCA All-America First-Team as a senior at University of Nebraska in 2013.
    Made debut with Team USA at 2014 MOntreux Volley Masters, starting four of the matches and averaging 3.93 points per set.

  • Thank you Kimberly5/22/2017

    The contract between VakıfBank and Kimberly Hill, played last two season successfully, has expired.

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    5/22/2017

    Thank you Kimberly

    The contract between VakıfBank and Kimberly Hill, played last two season successfully, has expired. We would like to thank her as VakıfBank, for contributions to our achievements and for all good memories.

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