Rio, Osasco a step closer to Brazil final


High fives all around for setter Carol Albuquerque and middle blocker Bia Correa with libero Camila Brait as Volei Nestle Oasco defeat Dentil Praia Clube Uberlandia in the Brazil Superleague semifinals.

Lausanne, Switzerland, April 1, 2017 - Volei Nestle Osasco and Rexona Sesc Rio de Janeiro gained an early advantage after wins in the opening matches of the Brazilian women's Superleague semifinals Friday night.

Middle blocker Ana Beatriz 'Bia' Correa with 10 stuffs was voted MVP of the game as Osasco came back from a set down at home in the packed with 4,000 fans Jose Liberatti to beat Dentil Praia Clube Uberlandia 3-1 (25-27, 25-17, 25-12, 25-13). Setter Carol Albuquerque filled in brilliantly for London 2012 Olympic champion Dani Lins and Tandara Caixeta was unstoppable from the outside with 62% (23/37) in attack, emerging top scorer on 26 points as Osasco picked up after the first set to scatter Praia Clube.

Rio 2016 Olympics MVP Serginho presents Bia with the MVP of the game trophy (plus chocolate Easter eggs) after Volei Nestle Osasco beat Praia Clube Uberlandia at the Jose Liberatti.

Unstoppable Rio de Janeiro silenced the 3,600-strong sellout crowd at Minas Arenas in Belo Horizonte, as Gabi Guimaraes led the defending champions to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-18) sweep of Camponesa Minas.

For the third time in as many Playoffs matches Gabi was voted MVP of the game after emerging top scorer with 17 points. But it was otherwise a blocking party of 13 stuffs set up by Juciely Barreto with 4, as she and Monique Pavao added 12 points each.

The best-of-five semifinals continue midweek with the second matches scheduled for 4 April.

Three down, one to go in Turkey
The three Istanbul sides of VakifBank, Eczacibasi VitrA and Fenerbahce have made it through to the semifinals of the Turkish League after scoring double wins midweek and over the weekend.

Rio 2016 Olympics MVP Zhu Ting of China top-scored twice with 28 and 22 points respectively as defending champions VakifBank beat Besiktas Istanbul 3-2 (25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 20-25, 15-12) and 3-1 (25-21, 25-15, 22-25, 25-14).

Meanwhile, reigning world champions Eczacibasi relied on Serbia's Tijana Boskovic to bring in 29 points in their first win over Canakale Belediyespor 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18) and USA's Jordan Larson to score 13 in the return leg's 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-20).

For Fenerbahce it was Brazil's Natalia Pereira with 27 points in the first match and Eda Erdem with 12 in the second who helped the Istanbul side beat Halkbank Ankara 3-2 (25-27, 25-15, 24-26, 27-25, 15-6) and 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-16).

The fourth semifinalist will be determined this week when Galatasaray Isatanbul face Bursa Buyuksehir in home-and-away games with 'golden set' if necessary.

Race for quarterfinals heats up in Italy
Il Bisonte of Florence and Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizio made the first steps midweek towards berths in the Italian League quarterfinals and will try to punch their tickets in the return legs on Monday 3 April.

Odina Bayramova of Azerbaijan and Raffaella Calloni scored 14 points each as Indre Sorokaite added another 13 and Puerto Rico's Stephanie Enright 12 to lift Il Bisonte Firenze to a 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-21) sweep of Sudtirol Bolzano.

And Brayelin Martinez of the Dominican Republic bagged 25 points as she led Busto Arsizio to a 3-1 (27-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-16) away win over Saugella Team Monza.

The top six teams at the end of the Regular Season qualified directly to the best-of-three quarterfinals, which are scheduled to begin on 7 April.

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