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Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul inched closer to retaining its crown as it bested fellow Turkish squad VakifBank Istanbul, 25-23, 19-25, 25-17, 25-23, yesterday in the semifinal of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The defending champion Eczacibasi, who topped Pool A in the preliminaries relied on their sharp serves by posting 11 aces while outhustling the offense-minded VakifBank.
Serbian national team member Tijana Boskovic pumped in 22 points built on 17 attacks, three aces and two blocks for Eczacibasi, even as Russian wing spiker and world club veteran Tatiana Kosheleva fired 13 points, 11 coming from spikes.
VakifBank, however, didn’t make it easy for Eczacibasi as they kept the match close particularly in the fourth set.
American Olympian Jordan Larson sealed the win with an off-the-block spike.
Middle blocker Thaisa Daher chipped in 12 points for Eczacibasi, while Larson and Maja Ognjenovic contributed 10 points each.
VakifBank’s loss relegated them to a battle for third place with the losing team between Volero Zurich and Pomi Casalmaggiore, who are playing at presstime.
Rio Olympics Most Valuable Player Zhu Ting topscored for VakifBank with 23 points, even as Lonneke Sloetjes added 10.
Earlier, Rexona-Sesc Rio dumped defense-oriented Bangkok Glass, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20, in the classification round for fifth to eighth places.
Monique Marinho tallied 13 points built on 10 kills and three blocks for the Brazilian crew, which will next face the winner of the PSL-F2 Logistics Manila versus Hisamitsu Springs Kobe for fifth place.