2017 Club Worlds hosts cement lead in Japan and Vakifbank break clear in Turkey


Zhu Ting spikes for Vakifbank Istanbul

Lausanne, Switzerland, December 11, 2016 - The 2017 FIVB Women's Club World Championship hosts Hisamitsu Springs cemented their lead in Japan's V.Premier League with a convincing win this weekend as Miyu Nagaoka led the side in a straight-set win over PFU Blue Cats of Kahoku.

Nagaoka bagged 24 points -including three aces- in the 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-20) win over Blue Cats, with Risa Shinnabe adding another 18.

The win sees Hisamitsu Springs firmly at the top of the standings with 28 points from 9 games, followed closely behind by Hitachi Rivale of Hitachinaka on 27. NEC Red Rockets of Kawasaki, the only other confirmed 2017 Club World entrants, follow in third place on 23 points, after their lates win 3-1 (14-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-17) over Okayama Seagulls with Mizuki Yanagita (15 points), Sarina Koga (14 and Akari Oumi (13) leading the scoring.

The 2017 FIVB Club World Championship will be held in Kobe 8-14 May, with Hisamitsu Springs as hosts and NEC Red Rockets as 2016 Asian Champions already confirmed to take part. Up for grabs are two more spots to be awarded to the winners of the 2017 South American champions and the 2017 European Champions League winners. The remaining for spots will be filled with wild cards.

In Brazil, meanwhile, Rexona Sesc Rio de Janeiro, who had defeated Hisamitsu Springs for 5th place at the 2016 FIVB Club World Championship in Manila, also continue to dominate their domestic league.

Rio undefeatable in Brazil
The defending Brazil Superleague champions dropped only their second of the season in their 3-1 (25-22, 14-25, 25-21, 25-23) win at home in Tijuca over Terracap Brasilia midweek, as Gabi Guimaraes scored 18 points to pick up the MVP of the Game award. It was the Rio side's eighth win in as many games and they remain in the only undefeated team in the Superleague, having broken away at the top of the standings by four points.

Vakifbank break clear in Turkish League
Over in Europe, the reigning world champions Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul continue to struggle in Turkey's Division 1 - their latest shaky result a 3-2 (24-26, 24-26, 25-15, 25-19, 25-10) away win over Nilufer of Bursa which required coach Massimo Barbolini trying various lineups before getting it right.

Russia's Tatiana Kosheleva with 25 points (including 4 blocks and a 48% attacking efficiency) plus 18 more from Brazil's Thaisa Menezes (including 8 blocks and 13/17 for 76% in attacking) were the deciding factors, but despite the win Eczacibasi remain in third place in the standings.

The bronze medallists of Manila, VakifBank Istanbul confirmed their domination this season with yet another convicing set win, 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-18) at home over Canakkale, with Rio 2016 Olympic Games MVP Zhu Ting scoring 19 points, including 16/24 kills for 67%. Vakifbank remain the only undefeated team in the league, havng dropped just one point in nine matches -in their amazing five-set comeback win over archrivals Eczacibasi in the huge Istanbul derby last month.

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