A stunning setup for the CEV Champions League Volley SuperFinals in Turin, Italy for the clash of two Turkish giants, no strangers to winning big matches and definitely not to each other.
Excitement brewing on both sides of the court as the players were waiting for first serve, but the start of the match was a cautious one. These two teams know each other extremely well and in the first plays of the match, it showed.
However, Eczacibasi seemed to be one step ahead and move a few points clear towards the middle of the set, but a series of blocks from VakifBank brought the matchup tighter yet again.
It was a back and forth affair for the remainder of the set, with coach Giovanni Guidetti choosing when to use his “challenges” wisely. At 25-25, Chiaka Ogbogu enters the scene and produces a monster block and smashes a loose ball just above the netto give VakifBank the lead.
The second set was all about VakifBank, despite a good start from Eczacibasi, in control from one end to the other, clearly boosted by the success of the first set. Ferhat Akbas’ Eczacibasi was not allowed to build back the rhythm and by the time the second half of the set rolled through, it was quite clear VakiBank will go into a 2-0 lead.
Nothing to lose in the third set for Eczacbasi, reaching a final for the first time since 2015 had to be met with more enthusiasm and that’s what they did, taking the lead in the match and looking like they would have the strength to push the final into the fourth set.
However, never count VakifBank out until the final play of a set, this is the best team in the history of the Champions League for a reason. Guidetti’s team came back strong and went close to taking the match and the trophy in straight sets, if it wasn’t for two handling mistakes. Eczacibasi narrowly won the third and the final had just gotten even more exciting.
The experience of the multiple Champions League Winner truly came to the forefront in the fourth set. A controlled performance that saw the Turkish giant become even greater, winning the set and with it yet another Trophy, their sixth!
On the night, the stars of both teams were shining bright, but it wasn’t meant to be for Serbian superstar Tijana Boskovic as she continues to wait to add the CEV Champions League Trophy to her cabinet. Paola Egonu, in front of her home crowd and her family, the fabulous Gabi in her first season as captain, the blocking machine Chiaka Ogbogu and the rest of Giovanni Guidetti’s team get to celebrate yet again, deservedly so.