Doha, Qatar, December 16, 2010 – Turkey's Fenerbahce may have entered the FIVB Women's Club World Championship as a wild card after finishing runners-up in last year's CEV Champions League but they confirmed their credentials by outclassing the strong Brazilian side of Sollys Osasco in straight sets (25-17, 25-23, 25-16) in their opening Pool A contest in Doha. The top scorer in the game was Natalia Pereira for Osasco with 18 points while Eda Erdem contributed 11 for Fenerbahce.
This had been the most awaited-match of the preliminary round in the women's competition and the star-studded Fenerbahce team enjoyed good support from their fans in the Al-Garafa Hall, who have come to Qatar hoping to see them go on and claim the very first international crown in the history of Turkish Volleyball.
The teams went into the contest no doubt already eyeing the draw for the semifinals where the second-placed side in Pool A will most probably have to play Foppapedretti Bergamo of Italy, the likely Pool B winners. The Fenerbahce pair of Liubov Sokolova and Katarzyna Skowronska were hard to stop in the opening set, and the Turkish side sailed quickly away into a handsome lead. Having set the pace up to the Second Technical Timeout (STT), where they led 16-7, they eventually tied up the set at 25-17.
With the Brazilians struggling with their reception, Fenerbahce did not need any further invitation to widen the gap and moved quickly into an 11-7 lead in set two. Sollys Osasco finally woke up, though, and almost drew level at 14-13 before two silly mistakes from the South Americans led to a technical timeout. Luizomar Moura's team claimed the lead for the first time at 17-16 after Fenerbahce sent the ball well off court. Natasa Osmokrovic did not waste any time in levelling the score and Sollys Osasco then produced a couple of blocks to move 20-17 ahead.
Fenerbahce's Brazilian coach Ze Roberto opted for two substitutions at this point with young setter Naz Aydemir and captain Cigdem Rasna joining the fray. When Sokolova then controlled with real class a ball that was flying well above the net, Jaqueline sent it out and Fenerbahce were back in contention. Fofao and Skowronska were back for the decisive rallies and the 'long' bench of Fenerbahce proved significant as Christiane Furst stopped two Brazilian attacks before Osmokrovic finished off the set from the left wing.
Fenerbahce were the sole force on court in the third set, the score standing at an impressive 16-8 by the STT. Ze Roberto continued rotating his players but the outcome did not change. The final whistle sounded soon after Sokolova had set up eight match points, with setter Aydemir closing the contest at 25-16.