Eczacibasi caught a very good start going up 8:4 in the first set as Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale was having problems to control their serves; Vakifbank head coach Giovanni Guidetti asked for a time-out as his side was trailing 8:13 and his players responded well, with Jovana Brakocevic that scored two aces thereby paving the way for the comeback of the 2011 champions. After drawing level at 14 all, the current leader of Turkey’s national league displayed terrific blocks to move up 19:17 and this small margin was eventually maintained up to the final 25-23.
Once more Eczacibasi got off to the best start also in the second set as Neslihan Darnel was pacing her side with some superb attacks; supported by Lioubov Shashkova, Darnel widened the gap for Eczacibasi up to six points (from 4:8 to 10:16) and even though Vakifbank fought their way back to -1 (22:23), it was Eczacibasi that had the upper hand in the end (23-25).
Vakifbank showed great play to open set 3 with a terrific 8:2 and the quality of their play improved with every single rally (11:4); the margin by the second technical time-out was impressive (16:8) and Vakifbank could comfortably pocket that section of the match with the score of 25-17.
The story repeated itself in set 4 with Vakifbank opening with another 8:2 break before Eczacibasi bounced back (10:7); still by the second technical time-out the leadership of Vakifbank looked safe and no more to be questioned with the “hosts” of this game eventually pocketing a 25-15 that sealed their 3:1 win, with Brakocevic top scoring in the end with 22 points.
“Actually there was no difference between these teams today, we were just better in serving and blocking in the third and fourth sets, this is what eventually determined the final result” said Guidetti after the match. “I think we did not play our best in the first and second sets; Eczacibasi played a good game but we really deserved this win” added Vakifbank captain Gözde Sonsirma Kirdar.
“We played well in the two opening sets but then could not keep momentum in the remainder of the match. We need to step up the quality of our game if we want to win next week” Eczacibasi head coach Lorenzo Micelli said. “We started out pretty good but we made too many mistakes. However, our chances to make it to the final four are still alive and we will work harder than we did up to now to achieve this goal” concluded Eczacibasi leader Esra Gümüs.
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