VakifBank to face Minas at Club World Championship final

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Nicole Fawcett (1st L), Ana Carolina Da Silva (2nd L) and Rosamaria Montibeller (2nd R) of Praia Clube blocks the ball during the semifinal match between Vakifbank Istanbul of Turkey and Praia Clube of Brazil at the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship in Shaoxing, east China's Zhejiang province, Dec. 8, 2018. Vakifbank Istanbul won 3-1. [Photo by Weng Xinyang/Xinhua]

Defending champions VakifBank Istanbul moved into the final of 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship after a 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18) win over Praia Clube from Brazil in Shaoxing, China's Zhejiang province, on Saturday, and the Turkish giants will meet 2018 South American club champions Minas Tenis Clube again which knocked out two-time Champion Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul.

VakifBank were 12-16 down in the fourth set after establishing a 2-1 set lead. However, VakifBank regained the dominance of the game with a 7-0 spurt and sealed the game with Kelsey Robinson's spike.

Home star Zhu Ting continued her fearsome form, scoring a team-high 20 points for VakifBank including 19 spikes. And VakifBank had an excellent scoring night with five other players having double-digit performances.

VakifBank's coach Giovanni Guidetti said: "It was a difficult game, congratulate to my players, they fought for every moment."

Minas came from one set down to beat Eczacibasi 3-2 (22-25, 26-24 25-13, 23-25, 15-12) in a thrilling end-to-end match. And it will be Minas' first final appearance in this tournament after 26 years.

Minas' Natalia Pereira led the scoresheet with 31 points and Gabriela Guimaraes added 19.

The final will be the repeat of the group game where VakifBank beat Minas with a comprehensive 3-0 victory.

"It will be another difficult game, Minas have great setter and great middle blocker, we have exposed so many problems in the group game," said Guidetti.

In the 5-8 classification games, Zhejiang Women's Volleyball Club didn't continue their good performance and were stunned by Kazakhstan' side Altay Volleyball Club 2-3 while Volero Le Gannet beat Supreme Chonburi 3-1. And Volero Le Gannet will fight with Altay for the 5th place.

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