In an exciting match played in front of almost 5000 fans at Allianz Cloud Milano, VakifBank secured their place in the semifinals of the women’s CEV Champions League for the 11th consecutive season. Following their initial victory against Vero Volley Milan, the Turkish team managed to secure another hard-fought win in the 2nd Leg of the quarterfinals.
Paola Egonu was the standout player, scoring 36 points, including 31 on attack (42%), 2 on serve, and 3 block points, as she showed off her skills in her future home court.
Jordan Thompson of the Italian side scored 27 points (45% attack, 1 ace ,a block), while Jordan Larson contributed 16 points (39% attack, 3 aces, 1 block). Vero Volley Milano won the first set, lost the second set, and then bounced back to win the third. They were in contention to force a golden set, but VakifBank Istanbul found the strength and power to win the fourth set and ultimately secured the match with a 15-11 victory in the fifth set.
The final score was Vero Volley Milano-VakifBank Istanbul 2-3 (25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 11-15). In addition to the performance of Thompson and Larson, Raphaela Folie and Miriam Sylla scored 8 points each for Vero Milano. On the other hand, along with the excellent Egonu, Gabi scored 9 points, Kara Bajema contributed 19 points, and Zehra Gunes scored 11 points.
VakifBank will now face either Fenerbahce or Conegliano, depending on the outcome of their match.
Vero Volley Milano vs VakifBank Istanbul 2-3 (25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 11-15)
Vero Volley Milano: Folie 8, Orro 3, Thompson 27, Stevanovic 4, Sylla 8, Larson 16, Parrocchiale (L), Rettke 3, Candi, Stysiak 4, Davyskiba 3, Negretti (L), Allard, Begic, Coach: Gaspari
VakifBank Istanbul: Ozbay 3, Ogbogu 7, Egonu 36, Gabi 9, Bajema 19, Gunes 11, Aykac (L), Gulubay 3, Acar (L), Cebecioglu, Akman, Karutasu, Daalderop, Akbay, Coach: Guidetti