Turkey’s Vakıfbank loses European championship final to Russia’s Dinamo Kazan
The defeat ended Turkish teams’ three-year domination in the tournament. Vakıfbank won the title in 2011 and 2013, while Fenerbahçe was triumphant in 2012.The Turkish women’s volleyball team Vakıfbank lost the CEV Denizbank Champions League final to Russia’s Dinamo Kazan on March 16 and settled with the silver medal.
Vakıfbank, last year’s champion, battled hard, but lost to the Russian powerhouse in three sets (25-23, 25-11, 25-23) in the final match in Baku.
Ekaterina Gamova was once again the best scorer of the match with 21 points for Dinamo. Jordan Quinn Larson-Burbach added another 16. Captain Gözde Sonsırma was Vakıfbank’s most prolific player with 10 points.
“We were expecting this,” Gamova was quoted as saying on the official website of CEV, the governing body of European volleyball. “We are stronger and we put all our force to win the Final Four. Here it is - we are the champions.”
The defeat ended Turkish teams’ three-year domination in the tournament. Vakıfbank won the title in 2011 and 2013, while Fenerbahçe was triumphant in 2012.
“We are really sorry we could not handle the ball well,” Vakıfbank player Gizem Karadayı said. “So the team was motivated, but there was something missing. I think we made a wrong tactical choice. But we are looking forward to win the Turkish championship and participate here again next year.”
Italian coach Giovanni Guidetti criticized his team’s attitude after losing the first set.
“I do not know what happened to the team,” he said. “In the first set we had a nice performance, despite losing it. But after that, we totally gave up. We understood we would not able to surpass this team. We’re sorry about that and give congratulations to the opponents.”
Another Turkish team, Eczacıbaşı, had to settle for fourth place after losing the third place playoff against Rabita Baku on March 16.