VakıfBank earn wild card for Women’s Club World Championship

Turkish Volleyball giants VakifBank Istanbul conquer third of four wild cards at stake for the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World in Manila from October 18 to 23. Giovanni Guidetti’s star-studded squad want to recover the most coveted trophy in club Volleyball after their success in 2013...

VakıfBank earn wild card for Women’s Club World Championship

Turkish Volleyball giants VakıfBank conquer third of four wild cards at stake for the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World in Manila from October 18 to 23. Giovanni Guidetti’s star-studded squad want to recover the most coveted trophy in club Volleyball after their success in 2013.

The FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship is coming closer with great strides and Volleyball fans around the world have already marked the days from October 18 to 23 in their calendars.

Exactly 117 days before the first serve, the Organising Committee of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship together with the FIVB have unveiled that another Volleyball titan is going to join the outstanding starting field as VakıfBank are going to vie for the most coveted trophy in women’s club Volleyball too. The reigning Turkish champions receive the third of four wild cards at stake for the tournament to be held in the Philippine capital Manila.

The top squad from the Bosporus have been one of the most successful clubs in the world over the last years. Under Giovanni Guidetti’s lead, the Turks have always made the podium in the CEV Champions League in the last four seasons. In 2013, the Turks even made their mark not only by mounting the throne of the CEV Champions League but also by claiming the crown of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship for the first time. The season eventually went down in history as the best in the club history with five out of five national and international titles – a novelty in Turkish Volleyball.

In the past season, however, the Turks were not able to answer the high expectations of their fans as they fell 0:3 to Final Four hosts Pomì Casalmaggiore in the CEV Champions League gold medal game. A big bummer for the Volleyball giants, who are normally spoiled by success. The Volleyball titans from the Bosporus, therefore, are poised to bounce back in the upcoming season and remount the throne of the most prestigious club tournament in women’s Volleyball after three years.

And the Turks are going to start at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship with an impressive roster. Star coach Giovanni Guidetti is spoilt for choice. The successful manager from Italy has some of the most celebrated Volleyball players in the world. The biggest stars in the roster of the reigning Turkish champs are captain and wing spiker Gözde Kırdar as well as setter Naz Aydemir Akyol. Under Guidetti’s lead, both of them have become role models for a whole generation of young Turkish Volleyball players. Furthermore, the Turks can count on US national player and almost unstoppable wing spiker Kimberly Hill, MVP of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Italy.

On the transfer market, on the other hand, VakıfBank scored another coup some weeks ago. The Turks signed Chinese wing spiker Zhu Ting. The player from the Middle Kingdom has made herself a name under living Volleyball legend Lang Ping in the Chinese national team. At the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup in 2015, Zhu Ting was also awarded the MVP trophy after an overwhelming performance and also promises a sensational offensive game at VakıfBank.

One of the aspiring and very promising youngsters to keep in mind for the next years is Kübra Akman. The 21-year-old middle-blocker has proven herself not only in the star-studded team of VakıfBank, but also in Turkey’s senior national team. Akman has already become a cornerstone in the team of the Turkish champs and has made herself a name for an impressive vision of the blocking game.

VakıfBank are poised to take the trophy back to Istanbul after the triumph of their arch-rivals Eczacıbaşı VitrA. At the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship, however, the Turks will have to lock horns with some of the other Volleyball giants first. VakıfBank will have to prove themselves against the hosting “Philippine’s Super Liga All Stars”, AVC champs Bangkok Glass, reigning CEV Champions League titleholders Pomì Casalmaggiore, South American champs Rexona AdeS Rio de Janeiro, titleholders Eczacıbaşı VitrA, last year’s bronze medallists Volero Zürich, and one other wild-card team due to be announced next week.

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  • VakifBank kept winning streak in Champions League 2/8/2018

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    VakifBank kept winning streak in Champions League

    The ‘Match of the Week’ featuring titleholders VakıfBank ISTANBUL and Russia’s Dinamo MOSCOW will draw much of the attention – especially since the Muscovites need a positive result in order to remain in contention for a spot in the Playoffs.  

    VakifBank ISTANBUL (TUR) vs. Dinamo MOSCOW (RUS)

      • VakifBank ISTANBUL claimed four titles in 2017, i.e. the CEV Volleyball Champions League, the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, Turkey’s Supercup and national cup.
     • VakifBank ISTANBUL were the first Turkish team to win Europe’s elite club competition – in 2011 – and the only one to have three titles to their name – 2011, 2013 and 2017.
     • VakifBank have not lost a Champions League home match since December 11, 2014 when they lost 1-3 to France’s RC CANNES.
     • It is the last home match in Pool D for VakifBank where they have three wins in as many matches so far.

     VakifBank team captain Gözde Kirdar: “Dinamo MOSCOW is an incredibly strong team, especially in attack. They recently transferred a player to strengthen their roster. It will be a very important match for us, because we want to secure first place in Pool D. We are working very hard for this match and I hope our supporters will not leave us alone.”

     VakifBank middle blocker Milena Rasic: “Dinamo MOSCOW is a very good team. I am sure they will come here to give everything they can. We know how important this game is for us and for them as well. We have to be ready for this match.”

    VakifBank ISTANBUL head coach Giovanni Guidetti: “For sure this will be a very different match from the one that we had in Moscow. This match will be Dinamo MOSCOW’s last chance to stay in contention for a spot in the Playoffs. They have a new and very good player in attack. It will be a very difficult match for us. We have to play very carefully.”

  • From Russia with the 3-0 1/24/2018

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    From Russia with the 3-0

    VakıfBank ISTANBUL continued their fine form in the competition winning away in Russia meaning that they are undefeated since the final in 2016 - a run of 15 matches.

    Dinamo MOSCOW (RUS) vs VakifBank ISTANBUL (TUR) 0-3 (20-25, 22-25, 18-25)

    • Vakifbank started the game very confidently and although the score was level in the early exchanges the home team trailed at the technical breaks.
    • The home side were clearly directed to place more risk on the serve by coach Zoran Terzic.
    • Zhu Ting (top scorer with 16 points) and Kübra Akman Caliskan were very effective and directed their team to a 25-20 first set win.
    • In the second set Dinamo MOSCOW looked closer and had a slight advantage at the second technical time-out causing some tension for VakifBank. However, the travelling side showed their true qualities with Gözde Kirdar very accurate and aggressive - highlighted by it being her ace that ended the set 25-22.
    • The third set offered the last chance for Dinamo, however a number of unforced errors lead to a seven point deficit at the second technical (9-16). From here Turkish setter Naz Aydemir Akyol orchestrated things and the reigning champions took another victory (25-18 in the final set).

     Milena Rasic: We had a great match today. We won in front of a powerful team. We are also happy to have won 3-0. We want to keep winning series.

    Giovanni Guidetti: I am very happy for winning. Because it's an important game. We were very good especially in the blocks. We made exactly 16 blocks today. We played aggressive, focused and careful. Now we are the leader in the group. But every match is like a final for us. We have many challenging matches to play in the future.

  • 2 consicutive wins in Champions League 1/10/2018

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    2 consicutive wins in Champions League

    VakifBank ISTANBUL (TUR) vs. Grot Budowlani LODZ (POL) 3-1 (25-16, 24-26, 25-15, 25-16)

    • Zhu Ting top scored in the match with 21 points for VakifBank.
     • Milena Rasic recorded as many as eight blocks for the home side out of 18 for VakifBank.
     • VakifBank claimed a 10-point lead in the third set at 23-13, the highest point difference in the match.

     Milena Rasic, player of VakifBank: “We played a very good match but I think we could have won 3-0. Unfortunately, we lost focus and let them play their own game in the second set. They played very well but after we found our rhythm again, we were able to take three points from this match.”

     Giovanni Guidetti, coach of VakifBank: “The best thing out of this match is that we took three points. We played this match after some intensive training and I know that my team is a little bit tired. However, I do not like it, when my team does not play well in defence. That is the reason why we failed in the second set but in the end we are happy with the three points we have taken from this match.”

  • VakifBank started with a home win 12/14/2017

    VakifBank claim Istanbul derby after four closely-fought sets

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    VakifBank started with a home win

    VakifBank claim Istanbul derby after four closely-fought sets

    Luxembourg, December 14, 2017. VakifBank ISTANBUL claimed the eagerly anticipated derby with Galatasaray SK ISTANBUL (3-1; 25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 26-24) to start their journey in the pool stage of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Women in emphatic style. VakifBank are chasing their fourth title in Europe’s elite club competition, but first have to progress to the Playoffs 6 before setting their sights on another continental crown.

    • The Chinese star player of VakifBank, Zhu Ting, top scored with 25 points.
    • Milena Rasic and Sinead Jack killed five blocks apiece for VakifBank and Galatasaray, respectively.
    • VakifBank scored as many as 13 blocks.
    • VakifBank looked incredibly dominant in the second set, where they had an edge of 10 points (18-8) over their rivals.
    • Galatasaray played their first Champions League match since the 2013 Final Four – which they hosted in Istanbul and where they had to settle for fourth place. Back then, VakifBank had won their second title in the competition.

    Kelsey Robinson, player of VakifBank:
    “The first match in the group stage of the CEV Champions League is always tough. Therefore, the Galatasaray match was also tough. In the first set, our opponent played very good, especially in attack. However, I think that we responded very well to their challenge. In the third set, I think we relaxed a little bit but in the final set, we fought for every point and we eventually won.”

     Giovanni Guidetti, head coach of VakifBank: “You cannot expect an easy victory from this kind of matches. Our opponent Galatasaray is a very strong team. We should have won 3-0 and I am a little bit upset because of the third set. We gave away as many as 15 points to Galatasaray. In the final set, on the other hand, we fought for every point. We won this game because we deserved it. Details are always important to me.”

  • VakıfBank Qualified Perfectly11/11/2017

    VakıfBank Istanbul 3-0 Minchanka Minsk

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    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.

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