Race for Kobe 2017 heats up in Europe


Kim Yeon-Koung hits past the block of Maja Ognjenovic as Fenerbahce beat Eczacibasi in the latest Istanbul derby.

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 6, 2017 - Teams could start booking their tickets to the knockout stage of the 2017 European Women's Champions League as early as this week, as the top clubs of the continent jostle for position in their quest for Europe's ultimate club trophy as well as a direct berth in the 2017 FIVB Club World Championsip.

Focus will be on Treviso this week, as undefeated Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena travel to Imoco Volley Conegliano on Wednesday for a classic Italian derby, the outcome of which will prove decisive to the race for a ticket to the Playoffs from Pool A. Anna Danesi with 12 points led Conegliano to their latest win in the Italian League over the weekend 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-22) over Sudtirol in Bolzano, which keeps them at the top of the domestic table.

Highlights from the last time Conegliano met Modena in the Italian League.

But in the Champions League, Conegliano have already suffered one loss, when they fell in five sets last month to Modena after an impressive performance by Jovana Brakocevic.

In another 'domestic' affair, Dinamo Krasnodar host undefeated Dinamo Moscow to kickstart Round 4 in Pool B, Tuesday evening. Dinamo Moscow continue to lead the standings in the Russian Superleague, after their latest win over the weekend 3-1 (25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19) over Yenisei Krasnoyarsk with strong performances by Nataliya Goncharova (18 points) and Yana Shcherban (17).

Highlights from Dinamo Moscow's latest win the Russian League, over Yenisei Krasnoyarsk.

A decision for Pool C may well be delayed, as leaders Fenerbahce Istanbul and Azerrail Baku don't clash until later this month, but there will certainly be excitement in Pool D, as the other two Turkish sides, archrivals VakifBank Istanbul and reigning FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship title-holders Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul continue on their collision course which will see them clash in a fortnight.

Korea's Kim Yeon-Koung (26 points) and Brazil's Natalia Pereira (21) led Fenerbahce to a 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 23-25, 16-14) away win over Eczacibasi in the lastest derby of the Turkish League this weekend, allowing VakifBank to extend their lead at the top of the standings.

The winner of the Champions League automatically qualifies for the 2017 FIVB Women's Club World Championship in Kobe, 8-14 May. They will be joined by hosts Hisamitsu Springs and reigning Asian champions NEC Red Rockets of Kawasaki, as well as the 2017 South American Champions to be decided next week in Uberaba and Uberlandia.

In addition, four wild cards will be awarded to complete the eight-team roster for Kobe 2017.

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