Egonu leads Imoco Volley Conegliano to smashing debut in Shaoxing
Imoco Volley Conegliano's Paola Egonu takes a hard swing at the ball against Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul blockers
The Italian club defeated two-time world champions Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul of Turkey in a four-set opening match encounter 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21), with Egonu tearing down the block of the opponents as she scored 27 from the attack line, adding a block and an ace to top all scorers.
“Paola (Egonu) played great in attack. I know that she is important for everything, not only for attack. She is an important blocker and server, but also as digger because she has improved a lot. I know that she can do more in every skill. For us she is not only important in attack but today she played in that important aspect for us,” Imoco Volley coach Daniele Santarelli said.
Imoco Volley also played excellent net defence against Eczacibasi, outscoring the latter with 13-6 blocks as Robin De Kruijf led her team with five blocks, while Miryam Fatime Sylla and Kimberly Hill helped out with three blocks apiece.
Imoco Volley Conegliano-Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul: Watch highlights
Meanwhile, defending champions Vakifbank Istanbul started their campaign with a straight-set 3-0 (27-25, 25-20, 25-20) win over Dentil Praia Clube. Isabelle Haak led the Turkish club with 22 points built from 19 spikes, two blocks and an ace, while Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez dropped 22 points for the Brazilian team in the losing effort.
Serbian setter Maja Ognjenovic showed her world champion form and crafted great plays to give her attackers the opportunity to score well against their rivals. In defence, Zehra Gunes defended the Turkish side of the net as she deflected four attacks.
Guangdong Evergrande Volleyball Club also had a positive start with a 3-1 (25-22, 28-26, 23-25, 25-22) win over Itambe Minas. Russian superstar Tatiana Kosheleva spearheaded Guangdong Evergrande’s offence and defence, collecting 24 kills, three blocks and an ace. Bruna Honorio Marques and Sheilla Castro Blassioli led the opposing side with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
In the last match of the day, Igor Gorgonzola Novara rallied from two sets down to win 3-2 (17-25, 15-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-11) against Tianjin Bohai Bank Volleyball Club. Jovana Brakocevic came up with big numbers to lead the Italian club. The Serbian topped all scorers with 28 points, while Li Yingying and Zhu Ting scored 20 points each for the Chinese side.
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