Lausanne, Switzerland, February 28, 2017 - Reigning world champions Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul, together with Swiss champions Volero Zurich and Italy's Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena became the last three teams to advance to the Playoffs of the European Women's Champions League Tuesday night, as pool play across the Continent wrapped up.
They join Russian champions Dinamo Moscow, as well as Turkey's Fenerbahce Istanbul and VakifBank Istanbul in the top six, who will battle it out in home-and-away knockout Playoffs to qualify three teams to the Final Four. Reigning Italian champions Imoco Volley Conegliano have already secured a berth in the Final Four as hosts of the competition at Treviso's PalaVerde 22-23 April.
The winner of the European Champions League gets a direct ticket to the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship, 8-14 May in Kobe. Hosts Hisamitsu Springs, reigning Asian champions NEC Red Rockets of Kawasaki and recently crowned South American champions Rexona-Sesc Rio de Janeiro have already qualified for Kobe. Four wild cards are to be determined.
In the deciding matches of the closing day of pool play at the European Champions League Modena had little difficulty in disposing of Poland's Chemik Police 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-22). Caterina Bosetti scored 12 points and Yvon Belien of the Netherlands 11 as the Italian side completely dominated the game in all skills, securing their qualification after clinching the second set. The result allowed Modena to finish top of Pool A and claim a direct ticket to the Playoffs.
With Dinamo Moscow having already secured pole position in Pool B - and actually finishing undefeated after a 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-1, 25-22) in Romania over CS Volei Alba Blaj - Volero needed to win at home in the Saalsporthalle against Dinamo Krasnodar to secure a Playoffs berth as one of the best two second-ranked teams. And that they did very convincingly, shutting out their Russian opponents 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-22) on the back of 14 points by Ekaterina Orlova of Russia and 13 by Kenia Carcaces of Cuba.
Eczacibasi became the other of the second-ranked teams to advance to the Playoffs - though only after a bit of a scare when they got equalised 1-1 at home in the Burhan Felek by Germany's Dresdner SC. Powered by 21 points from Russia's Tatiana Kosheleva and another 19 from Serbia's Tijana Boskovic, Eczacibasi eventually won 3-1 (25-15, 19-25, 25-22, 25-18) and joined their crosstown archrivals VakifBank in qualifying from Pool D.
The two legs of the Playoffs will be on 22 March and 5 April. A drawing of lots on Friday at the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) headquarters in Luxembourg will determine the pairings.
Full results, statistics and pictures on theCEV website
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