Allianz MTV Stuttgart upset Fenerbahçe Opet İstanbul in Round 2 of the 2023 CEV Women’s Volleyball Champions League.
Even though only two rounds are held, Stuttgart can be considered the most pleasant surprise of the CEV Champions League Volley 2023 | Women. The German champions staged an upset as they beat Turkish vice-champions, Fenerbahçe, 3-2 in Pool D, to upgrade on a triumph over Polish Championship leaders, ŁKS Commercecon Łódź, in Round 1. Stuttgart were even on their way to sweeping the famous rivals, but ’stopped’ playing at 2-0 in sets, reviving their momentum only in the tie-break. The Bundesliga side was led on the court by American Krystal Rivers (19 points). Russian Arina Fedorovtseva scored 29 for Fenerbahçe. Eda Erdem Dündar set up 4 blocks.
It was everything but easy for the titleholders VakıfBank İstanbul in Germany, against SC Potsdam. The players of the home side, one of the biggest CL outsiders, took advantage of a decision of Giovanni Guidetti to rest his two best players, Egonu and Gabi (sending them in only to make a few rotations), on many occasions, fighting bravely in the first set and third sets and winning the second. However, VakıfBank returned to Turkey with a success and 2-0 balance in Pool C. Alexia Căruțașu (competing under the Turkish name Aleksia Karutasu after obtaining its citizenship) was the most efficient player for the Istanbul side with 22 points. Dutch Fleur Savelkoel noted 17 (4 aces) for Potsdam. Serb Maja Savić had 5 blocks.
A.Carraro Imoco Volley were stronger than fatigue. Just three days after the FIVB Club World Championship success in Antalya, Turkey, the ’Panthers’ continued a season-blender, which tonight brought them to France for the match in Pool A. The Italian side, the current vice-champion of the competition, played their fifth match (with two notable trips in between) in the last seven days! The head coach Daniele Santarelli’s ladies easily beat Volley Mulhouse Alsace and collected a full set of points to claim the top of the pool. Swede Isabelle Haak and Canadian Alexa Gray top-scored Imoco with 11 points apiece.
In Pool B, Vero Volley Milano beat the Romanian champions CS Volei Alba Blaj 3-1, coming from a set behind and consolidating their leadership in the standings. The match started downhill for the team commanded by Marco Gaspari, however, the quality of Italian Serie A runners-up come to the fore in the long run, with 23 points from Pole Magdalena Stysiak and 4 blocks apiece from Serb Jovana Stevanović and Alessia Orro. Russian Viktoriya Russu tallied 24 points for Alba.
After a long challenge (two hours and 16 minutes), the Polish champions Grupa Azoty Chemik Police earned the away victory over the Romanian team of C.S.M. Târgoviște in the tie-break of Pool E’s encounter. After falling behind 0-2, the hosts took the third and fourth sets, both at 26-24, before losing 18-16 in the tie-break (even though they had 12-8). The most prolific performance on the winning side, who’s 2-0 in the pool, was the one from Serb Jovana Brakočević-Canzian, who scored 29 points. Iga Wasilewska and Martyna Czyrniańska recorded 5 blocks apiece. Adriana-Maria Matei scored 16 points for Târgoviște. Bulgarian Mira Todorova and Denisa-Ioana Ionescu made 4 blocks apiece.
CEV Champions League Volley 2023 | Women, group stage, Round 2: