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05/01/2015 19:52
VakifBank ISTANBUL claim first-ever crown at Gloria Cup
News from the clubs

Belek, Turkey, January 5, 2015. The silver medallists from the 2014 edition of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League, Turkey’s VakifBank ISTANBUL, routed Volero ZÜRICH 3:0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-18) in the gold medal game played on Monday to win the first edition of the Gloria Cup held in Belek, Turkey. Azeryol BAKU, on the other hand, swept aside Slovenia’s Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR in three sets as well (25-16, 25-18, 25-9) to settle for the bronze.

The third and last day of the Gloria Cup in Belek was very promising: Azeryol BAKU and Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR, on the one hand, played for the bronze medal; VakifBank ISTANBUL and Volero ZÜRICH, on the other, wanted to grab for the first-ever crown at the Gloria Cup.

In the first game of the final day, Azeryol BAKU wanted to redeem their two 1-3 losses to VakifBank and Volero. The team already proved their intentions in the opening set showing how much they wanted to reach their goal: the team from Azerbaijan’s capital rolled over Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR. The underdog had no chance to react and lost the opening set 16-25. Coach Bruno Najdic, however, told his players to stay focused; and the Slovenians were able to do better in the second set. That one was close, but at the very end, Azeryol could overcome MARIBOR with their offensive game, which resulted in a 25-18 set win for the team from Baku. The third set was a pure demonstration of power. Azeryol out-blocked the young Slovenians: MARIBOR needed more than five attempts to get a kill – Azeryol, on the other hand, kept their pace high and increased the lead continuously. As a result, the Azerbaijanis clearly won the set 25-9 and claimed the bronze medal of the inaugural Gloria Cup.

The big highlight of the day was the gold medal game between VakifBank and Volero. The Turkish league and cup champions were just two sets away from the first-ever gold medal at the Gloria Cup. The strong blocking and defensive game of both teams resulted in long and breath-taking rallies. Inspired by their supporters in the stands, VakifBank, however, clinched the opening set 25-22. Volero were under pressure: if the multiple Swiss champions wanted to stay in the race for the gold medal at the Gloria Cup, they had to win the second set – and the Swiss were close to that leading by 21-18. But then Brazilian national player Sheilla Castro outshined everybody on the field – the two-time Olympic gold medallist helped her team out with important kills. The 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League silver medallists were able to force the turnaround and to win the set 25-21. Volero, on the other hand, had to pay a high price for their unforced errors. VakifBank was on fire at this stage of the match: the Turkish side overpowered the Swiss champions with their explosive attacks. ZÜRICH fell behind with a deficit of nine points. In the end, VakifBank clearly won the third and final set by 25-18 – and clinched the first-ever gold medal at the Gloria Cup.

MVP Carolina Costagrande of VakifBank said: “It’s a really important victory to us, as we were able to improve ourselves during the tournament. This incredible comeback proved that we believed in ourselves and that we stuck together as team. I think this tournament is really important to me and to my team, not only because it helps us keep the rhythm high during the Christmas holidays, but also to grow in confidence after the defeat against RC CANNES we suffered in the 2015 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League.”

Final standing

1.    VakifBank ISTANBUL (TUR)
2.    Volero ZÜRICH (SUI)
3.    Azeryol BAKU (AZE)
4.    Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO)

News nr. 11585 of 23547
05/01/2015 20:47:00
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05/01/2015 15:39:00
VakifBank and Volero to cross ways for first ever Gloria Cup
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