Fener aims 2nd World Club win
Fenerbahçe women’s volleyball team has claimed the 2012 CEV Champions League title after the final four in Azerbaijan.Hürriyet photoFenerbahçe women’s volleyball team hopes to claim the 2012 World Club Championship following its 2010 success.
After winning the Champions League, the Istanbul team is among the favorites to be named the best in the world as the championship starts on Oct. 13.
Along with defending champion Rabita Baku, Fenerbahçe is one of the two favorites to win the trophy in Baku.
The 2010 champion Fenerbahce and 2011 champion Rabita Baku both play their first match on Oct. 15. These two teams have been dominant in European club play in recent years and it is hardly surprising that they have split the women’s world championships since the competition was reintroduced in Doha three years ago.
Fenerbahçe’s record in recent years is unmatched: After a runner-up finish in the 2010 CEV Champions League, the team went on to win the Club World Championship. Fener then won a bronze medal in the 2011 Champions League and finally claimed the European title in 2012. Their mostly-Turkish roster is supplemented by two key Brazilian stars, Paula Pequeno and and Mari Steinbrecher. Making the best use of these outstanding individuals is the job of Kamil Söz, Fenerbahçe’s new coach.
Rabita Baku, in comparison, is a new power on the European scene. The team has come of age after a few years of building following their establishment in 2001. Baku reached third in the 2010 CEV Champions League and second in 2011. Last year, the team swept aside all opposition to take the world club title in Doha.
Another contender will be the Sollys/Nestlé team, who has five players from this summer’s Olympic-gold-winning Brazilian squad – including Jaqueline Carvalho, Thaisa Menezes and Sheilla Castro. Sollys won a silver in 2010 and a bronze in 2011 at the Club World Championships, and will be aiming to complete its medal set.
Sollys/Nestlé plays its first game against this year’s potential surprise package, Bohai Bank of China.
Puerto Rican Lancheras and Kenya Prisons are the underdogs of the tournament and open the competition with a game on Oct. 13.