Favourites victorious in women's club leagues


Samantha Bricio (right) jousts with Marta Bechis as she leads Imoco Volley Conegliano to a win over Il Bisonte of Florence in the Italian A1 League.

Lausanne, Switzerland, January 22, 2017 - Pomi Casalmaggiore remained at the top of the standings in Italy's women's Samsung Gear A1 League after Samanta Fabris scored 22 points in three sets to lead them to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-16) sweep of Saugella Team away in Monza.

Imoco Volley Conegliano are keeping up the chase, though, following their 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-18) win at home in the PalaVerde, Sunday evening, over Il Bisonte of Florence. Mexico's Samantha Bricio with 24 points and a good contribution in receiving played a pivotal role in Conegliano's win, which sees them trail Pomi by just two points, 33 to 31 after 13 matches in the regular season.

2017 Club Worlds entrants look ahead to Japan Final Six
In Japan, meanwhile, 2017 FIVB Women's Club World Championship hosts Hisamitsu Springs of Kobe closed in on the table leaders after scoring two full-point wins over the weekend in the V.Premier League. Risa Shinnabe was her team's top scorer on both occasions, as Hisamitsu Springs swept Toyota Auto Body Queenseis 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-21) on Saturday and followed up with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-12) win over Okayama Seagulls on Sunday.

NEC Red Rockets of Kawasaki, the reigning Asian champions and only other team apart from the hosts to have already secured their ticket to the Club Worlds in Kobe 8-14 May, continue to lead the race in the V.Premier League, despite dropping their first match of the weekend 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-21) to JT Marvelous of Nishinomiya. Mizuki Yanagita led the NEC Red Rockets to a rebound win 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-18) over bottom of the table PFU Blue Cats of Kahoku on Sunday.

With two rounds of play left in the regular season, NEC Red Rockets, Hitachi Rivale, Hisamitsu Springs, JT Marvelous, Toray Arrows and Toyota Auto Body Queenseis have long secured their qualification to the Final Six.

No change as action resumes in Turkey
VakifBank Istanbul opened the second half of the regular season in the Turkish League with a convincing 3-0 (29-27, 25-21, 25-14) win at Galatasaray, as action resumed after a month's break. Lonneke Sloetjes of the Netherlands with 20 points was top scorer for the 2016 FIVB Club World Championship bronze medallists.

The reigning FIVB club world champions Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul remain in second place, after their 3-0 (26-24, 25-20, 28-26) win at home over Bursa Buyuksehir. Brazil's Thaisa Menezes, Russia's Tatiana Kosheleva and Hande Baladin all scored 12 points each for Eczacibasi.

Rexona keep lead in Brazil
And in Brazil, defending champions Rexona Sesc Rio de Janeiro are breaking away at the top of the standings of the Superleague, after their latest win 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-16, 25-14) at home in Tijuca over Genter Volei Bauru. Monique Pavao was leading scorer for Rexona with 14 points, which earned her the MVP award of the game.

Volei Nestle of Osasco rebounded (after their shock defeat the previous week by Pinheiros of Sao Paulo) with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-23) sweep of Sesi Sao Paolo at home in the Jose Liberatti. Ana Beatriz Silva was top scorer of that game with 14 points and opposite Ana Paula Cruz was voted MVP.

After 14 matches Rexona lead the race with a six-point margin over Volei Nestle, 40 points to 34.

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