The FIVB Women's Club World Championships continue with Day 2 today. Streaming live from Zurich, Switzerland, and running until Sunday the 10th, the best clubs from the highest level of professional indoor volleyball have come together to crown a single champion.
Yesterday featured the host team, Volero Zurich, winning their opening match-up. Japanese squad Hisamitsu Springs Kobe also came up with a huge upset over Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul in 5 sets. That upset puts a huge amount of value on today's opening match-up. Since the round robin tournament only features pools of 3, that means each team only gets 2 games to qualify for the semi-finals. A loss can be devastating.
GAME 3: Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul vs. Dinamo Krasnodar
11:30 p.m. EST/18:00 GMT
Having lost their first, Eczacibasi is suddenly at risk of elimination. Christiane Fuerst, middle blocker for 2 Club Championship teams in the last 4 tournaments, will have to provide some guidance to younger players. On the other side is Dinamo Krasnodar representing Russia. While they've never appeared at the Club Championships before, a Russian club won Gold last year.
The Turkish Club, Eczacibasi, came out with mean intentions right from the start. The first set was close in the middle, but Dinamo Krasnodar couldn't put it together at the end. The second set was highlighted by two huge streaks. Krasnodar won 6 consecutive points to go from down 19-20 to having 4 set points. The second streak was Eczacibasi winning the next 6 points in a row to win the set 26-24. To say it was deflating for the Russian squad would be an understatement. Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul won the 3rd set by the biggest margin yet, putting themselves in decent position to move on. Dinamo Krasnodar will have to win their match against Hiramitsu Springs Kobe tomorrow to even have a hope of advancing.
Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul def. Dinamo Krasnodar 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-19)
GAME 4: Volero Zurich vs. Rexona Ades Rio de Janeiro
2:00 p.m./20:00 GMT
After dropping their first set yesterday, host team Volero Zurich stormed back to take the next three. Up next for them are the Brazilian Champions. No matter what team Brazil sends, they immediately become front runners. Brazil has the most Golds of any nation, and just two years ago this exact Brazilian club finished with the Silver (though they were known as Unilever Volei at that time).
This was a match-up of a team that knew they could win, against a team that wanted to. Rexona Ades Rio de Janeiro represent a Brazilian legacy of winning this tournament. After a tight first set, host team Volero Zurich managed to get 6 set points, but couldn't come through on any of them. On their first set point opportunity, Rexona Ades won the second set 30-28. The second set was incredibly tight again, but once it came down to the important points, Rexona Ades pulled away. The third set told the same story all over again. Another handful of set points, and yet every single one seemed fated to be won by the Brazilian squad, no matter how intense of a rally. This time, the points just kept going and going. Finally, after 13 set point attempts, Volero Zurich managed to take a set from Rexona Ades 35-33. However, they used all their resilience in the fourth. The final set went Rexona Ades way, 25-22, giving them the match in 4. Volero will hope Rexona Ades also wins tomorrow to ensure their spot in the semis.
Rexona Ades Rio De Janeiro def. Volero Zurich 3-0 (30-28, 25-, 33-35, 25-22)