Vakifbank Istanbul didn’t hold back as they graduated from European
to world champions. In front of 2,000 fans at Saalsporthalle they
beat their South American counterparts Unilever Volei from Brazil in
straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-16) to capture their first ever FIVB
Club World Championship.
Istanbul’s superstar Jovana Brakocevic finished the match with 23
points, including three blocks and one serving ace, while captain
Kirdar Sonsirma Gözde, Christiane Fürst and Carolina Costagrande
contributed 14, seven and five points respectively. Middle blocker
Carol topped the scoring for Unilever with 12 points, including seven
blocks. Gabi chipped in with 10 tallies.
“It was an incredible volleyball match,” Vakifbank Istanbul coach
Giovanni Guidetti. “Both teams played at the highest level, providing
the 2,000 fans with an outstanding duel.
We played extremely well
in block-defence. I am proud
of my players. Once again,
they showed their passion
and fighting spirit. It is an
Vakifbank Istanbul coach Giovanni Guidetti
The gold medal match was the second time in the tournament that
the teams had met after Istanbul had won 3-1 in the pool phase. The
Turkish side also beat Iowa Ice in pool play before going on to defeat
Guangdong Evergrande in the semifinals.
“I’m so proud of my team. Unilever Volei are a really strong team and
they played well today, but we did an amazing job as a team,” said
Vakifbank Istanbul captain Kirdar Sonsirma Gözde.
“Our attack and our reception weren’t good at all in the beginning.
However, we came back strongly. We are never afraid. I cannot
explain our domination in Turkey, the Champions League and here at
the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship. I think that the word
“family” describes us the best.”
Guangdong bounced back from losing in the semifinals to claim the
bronze medal following a tough 3-1 (24-26, 25-23, 25-18, 25-21)
win over host team Volero Zurich that continued the revolution that
Guangdong and national team coach “Jenny” Lang Ping has brought
to Chinese volleyball in 2013.
“I think our players know each other better now and we have started
to improve our level,” Lang Ping said. “An important difference
between the first match against Volero Zurich and the one today was
that we knew our opponent better.”