Monday, 31 March 2014

IBK Altos thrashes GS Caltex 25 in five-set thriller – Women’s Volleyball

Karina Ocasio-Malpica lost the personal scoring duel with Bethania De la Cruz but at the end of the day the Puerto Rican stellar player got the last laugh as IBK Altos defeated GS Caltex 25-18, 25-18, 15-25, 22-25, 15-9 in the third match of the Korean Women’s League Final Series on Monday.

The outside hitter Ocasio-Malpica scored 47 points as IBK Altos moved one victory away from the 2013-2014 despite a 50-point performance from De la Cruz a native of the Dominican Republic.

Ocasio-Malpica now has 99 points (29, 23, 24) to 112 by De la Cruz (42, 20, 50) in three matches as the two big-cannons continue to delight the Korean fans with their thundering offensive exploits.

It was the second victory for IBK Altos in the best-of-five final series with the next match scheduled on April 2 also in Pyeongtaek a city to the south of Seoul.  GS Caltex won the first contest also in five sets.

After winning the first two sets by comfortable margin, the team based in Hwaseong faced a strong reaction from the other side of the net as GS Caltex evened up the score with the powerful attacks by De la Cruz leading the way.

The visiting team then controlled the tie-breaker from start to finish with good blocking and better concentration.

Talita Antunes gears up before the start of World Tour – Beach Volleyball

Talita Antunes, one half of the current FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour champion team, has added another title to her collection just over a month until the start of the 2014 World Tour.

Having already won the South American Games title with her World Tour sidekick Taiana Lima earlier in March, Talita added Brazil’s Queen of the Beach crown on Sunday.

She teamed up with Maria Antonelli at Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro to defeat Maria-Clara Salgado and Agatha Bednarczuk to win 2-0 (21-11, 21-17) and equal Sandra Pires’ record of three Queen of the Beach titles.

“I am delighted to have matched Sandra’s record because she is one of the greats, an Olympic champion and I know how much she means to Brazil,” Talita said.

Talita and Maria Antonelli were previously partners on the World Tour from 2009 until 2012, though they teamed up for one last time to win gold at the FIVB World Cup finals in 2013.

“She was brilliant yesterday and remained bright today,” Maria Antonelli said. “It certainly helped as we didn’t need to think much about what we had to do and so we could relax and had less pressure on us.”

Brazilian Molico Osasco receives Women's Club World Championship wild card

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and the organizers of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship Zurich 2014 have announced that the first of two wild cards for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship Zurich 2014 has been allocated to Molico Osasco of Brazil.

The 2014 South America Women’s Club Championship runner’s up are currently in the semifinals of the Brazilian SuperLiga and join hosts Volero Zurich, 2014 South America Women’s Club Championship champions Sesi-SP and European club champions Dinamo Kazan as the teams who have already qualified for the tournament which will take place from May 7 to 11.

Molico Osasco, who claimed the 2012 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship title, boast plenty of Brazilian internationals including Sheilla as captain, Adenizia, Thaisa, Fabiola, Jaqueline and Camila while Italian wing spiker Caterina Bosetti is also in their line-up.
The four time winners of the South America Women’s Club Championship from 2009 to 2012 have qualified for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship three times having previously finished third in 2011 and second in 2010.

The wild card decisions are made jointly between the FIVB and the organizers with the second wild card expected to be allocated in the coming weeks.

The eighth edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship will be held in Zurich, Switzerland and will feature six teams with the winner of the Asian Club Championship, which will take place from April 17 to 25 in Nakhonpathom, Thailand and one more wild card completing the line-up.  

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Zarechie downs Besiktas to claim the first ever European trophy – Women’s Volleyball

Zarechie ODINTSOVO is the winner of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Women.  The Russian team defeated Turkey’s Besiktas ISTANBUL by 3:1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19) in the second leg of the final at the Burhan Felek volleyball hall by the Bosporus to triumph with its first ever European trophy.

Natalia Malykh contributed 24 points to the victory and became the best scorer of the match.  She was also crowned as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the final.

Anastasia Bavykina added 17 points to Zarechie’s tally, including 3 aces and 5 kill blocks.  Besiktas’s top scorer was Paula Yamila Nizetich with 22 points.

The first set was very competitive through 9-9.  Then the Russians started gaining in the score opening a gap as wide as 17-12.  In the conclusive moments of the set, the home side crawled back up to save all of Zarechie’s set points, but the last one, and to lose by a narrow 23-25.
The second set was similar, but with the opposite sign.  Besiktas used the momentum from the end of the first part and the great performance by its blockers to establish a solid domination on the court and shoot up to a 13-3 lead.  At 23-15, it seemed that nothing could stop the Turks from winning the set, but the Russian blockers were not sleeping either.  Zarechie scored 6 points in a row to prompt an interesting ending, and then it saved the first two of Besiktas’s three set points before letting it go by the same score - 23-25.

In the third set, it was once again Zarechie’s turn to control the scoreboard.  The advantage of the Russian team never exceeded 3 points, but also Besiktas was never able to take the lead.  The home side played very well in offense and continued its great blocking efforts, but also committed far too many unforced errors.  Fair enough, the set ended at another 25-23, this time in Zarechie’s favor.

The fourth set was a completely different affair.  The visiting team made the final push for the victory and imposed its will on the court.  Vadim Pankov’s players were completely focused on their game and put a lot of precision into their performance.  The blockers continued to be Zarechie’s main weapon and all this combined led to a total control of the set and the final score of 25-19 that marked the historic moment for the club and got the Russian celebration started.

 “I am very happy right now,” emotional Ekaterina Kosianenko, captain of Zarechie, said after the match.  “My girls managed to win the match.  Congratulations to us all!  I want to present this cup to all Russian people. They are in my heart.”

Vadim Pankov, head coach of Zarechie, added:  “It was a very difficult match as I had said it would be.  Besiktas has a very good defense.  It is normal that this was a difficult match - it is final.  I am very happy to become the holder of the Challenge Cup. Congratulations to my team!”

FAP seized ninth position at the Men's African Club Championship – Volleyball News

Cameroon's FAP completed in 9th place in the ranking matches at the 2014 Men's African Club Championship after their victory against Kenya Prisons at Sousse Olympic Hall in Tunisia on Friday. 

FAP won the match in straight sets (25-14, 25-21, 25-21) to finish ninth, leaving the Kenyans in 10th place.

Ettihad Misurata (LIB) fought for more than two hours to clinch 11th place in a thrilling win against GSU (KEN) 3-2 (25-22, 26-24, 15-25, 22-25, 15-13).

Ittihad Tangier (MOR) cruised past Bafia (CMR) 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-19) for 13th position, while Port Douala (CMR) clinched 15th place following an exciting victory over Espoire (COD) 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 15-10).

Nemo Stars (UGA) defeated Beau Vallon (SEY) 3-1 (18-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-20) to finish in 17th place, while Autoridade (MOZ) beat Nahda (SUD) 3-2 (15-25, 26-24, 25-16, 23-25, 15-10) to end the competition in 19th place, leaving the Sudanese in 20th place. Mugher Cement (ETH) were bottom at 21st. 

Final Standings
1.         TBD
2.         TBD
3.         TBD
4.         TBD
5.         TBD
6.         TBD
7.         TBD
8.         TBD
9.         FAP (Cameroon)
10.       Prisons (Kenya)
11.       Ettihad Misurata (Libya)
12.       GSU (Kenya)
13.       Ittihad Tangier (Morocco)
14.       Bafia (Cameroon)
15.       Port Douala (Cameroon)
16.       Espoire (Congo DR)
17.       Nemo Stars (Uganda)
18.       Beau Vallon (Seychelles)
19.       Auroridade (Mozambique)
20.       Nahda (Sudan)
21.       Mugher Cement (Ethiopia)

Finals programme for rankings 1-8 on March 29, 2014                                                                                                        
7-8  Ahly Tripoli (LIB) v AHLY Benighazi (LIB)                     
5-6 Stif (ALG) v          Borj B (ALG)  
3-4 Etoile (TUN) v Sfax (TUN)                      

1-2 Esperance (TUN) v Ahly (EGY)