Doha, Qatar, December 19, 2010 – Fenerbahce opened the fourth competition day at the 2010 FIVB Women's Club World Championship by beating Federbrau in three straight sets (25-20, 25-18, 25-23), to advance to the semifinals as the best-ranked team of Pool A.
For Federbrau, this second successive loss means the Thais will exit the competition early, ranked in joint-fifth place with Kenya Prisons, the bottom team from Pool B. Fenerbahce, real pretenders to the crown having already beaten Brazil's Sollys Osasco, will next play the Pool B runners-up, NORCECA representatives Mirador, for the right to advance to the final game of a competition that the FIVB reinstated this year after a hiatus stretching back to 1994.
Fenerbahce's Polish opposite, Katarzyna Skowronska, was the match's top scorer with 24 points, with her colleagues Liubov Sokolova and Eda Erdem finishing in double digits also (12 and 15 respectively).
Fenerbahce were the favourites going into the game and they got off to a good start by controlling their opponents' attacks at the net. Yet Federbrau – basically a carbon copy of the Thailand national team that competed at the FIVB Women's World Championship in Japan – fought back bravely to almost close the gap before a fast attack from Erdem left the Turkish team 8-6 up at the first mandatory stop.
The Asian champions tied for the first time at nine-all after Sokolova had spiked long from the left wing, and though unable to match Fenerbahce for height and power, Federbrau managed to keep the score tight by performing impressively in reception and by varying their offensive solutions – alternating first tempo and pipes. Yet by the second technical break Fenerbahce led 16-14 through an ace from Skowronska and when they widened the margin to 18-14, the Thais' coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai was forced into his first time-out. It proved in vain as, with Fenerbahce now getting into the right rhythm after the early 10am start, they sewed up the set at 25-20 as Malika Kanthong sent the ball wide.
Federbrau went up 6-4 in the second set before Fenerbahce restored their supremacy with the help of Russian veteran and two-time world champion Sokolova (8-6). The Thais enjoyed support from many of the local volunteers, who are of Far Eastern origin, yet on the court Fenerbahce were simply too strong in every respect. They had moved six points clear by the Second Technical Time-out (STT) and although Federbrau made one last attempt to claw their way back – closing the score from 21-14 to 21-18 – it did not last. Sokolova spiked from the back row to earn set point and Christiane Furst's block made it 2-0.
Some of the Thai players boast overseas experience. Onuma Sittirak has competed in European competition and will move to Russia in early January, setter Nootsara Tomkom is soon to transfer to Azerbaijan, and captain Wilavan Aginyapong will likely be joining legendary coach Jenny Lang Ping in Guanghzou. Yet though no novices, they could simply find no way of derailing the Turkish express. In the third set, Fenerbahce coach Zé Roberto decided to give some playing time to young setter Naz Aydemir – 20 years old and MVP of the 2008 Junior European Championships – but this had no effect on the course of the game, the youngster commanding her attackers with real mastery and confidence as her team secured a 3-0 triumph.