Europe's favourites remain on track for ticket to Kobe 2017


Yelizaveta Samadova of Telekom Baku tries to tip the ball past the block of Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena's Laura Heyrman and Francesca Ferretti in the European Champions League.

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 9, 2017 - Italy's Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena have broken away by two points at the top of their European women's Champions League pool this week, following a four-set win in Baku over Azerbaijan's Telekom and in combination with the loss of the other Italian side in the competition, Imoco Volley Conegliano in five sets at home to Poland's Chemik Police.

It was otherwise a predictable week in the competition, as teams jostle for position, with two pool play rounds left ahead of the knockout Playoffs stage. The winner of the ultimate continental club trophy also gets an automatic spot in the 2017 FIVB Club World Championship, 8-14 May in Kobe.

Serbia's Jovana Brakocevic was unstoppable as she piled in 33 points in four sets for Modena's 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22) win at Baku. The home side's incredible 17 blocks (11 alone from the Ukraine's Olena Hasanova) and Yelyzaveta Samadova's 22 points were not enough to end Modena's winning streak.

At the same time, Conegliano were going down at home to Police 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 15-8) - just a fortnight after beating the Polish side 3-2 in Szczecin. Malwina Smarzek with 24 points and Colombia's Madelaynne Montano with 21 led Police, to counter top scorer of the game Nicole Fawcett of USA who bagged 25 for Conegliano.

Dinamo Moscow also remained undefeated after four matches, following their straight-set win 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 27-25) in Krasnodar over the local Dinamo in the Russia derby of Pool B. Nataliya Goncharova was top scorer of the game with 19 points to lead the Moscow side.

Turkey's Fenerbahce Istanbul also had a quiet week in Pool C, downing Poland's Tauron MKS Dabrowa Gornicza 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 26-24) at home in the Burhan Felek - with Korea's Kim Yeon Koung leading the Turkish side on 15 points and Brazil's Natalia Pereira adding another 13 to balance out the top-scoring performance of 16 points by the Czech Republic's Helena Horka.

And in Pool D VakifBank Istanbul had absoluetly no trouble in demolishing Dresdner SC 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-12) in Germany, led by Rio 2016 Olympics MVP Zhu Ting of China (13 points) in combination with Rio 2016 Best Opposite Lonneke Sloetjes of the Netherlands (12). The result leaves VakifBank undefeated at the top of the pool, but comes just a fortnight ahead of their big clash with crosstown rivals and reigning FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Champions Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul in the ultimate Turkish derby.

Full results and coverage on the European Volleyball Confederation website.

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