Chemik finished second in Pool E, with four wins and 13 points, and advanced to the quarterfinals as the runner-up with the best record. They have been Champions League regulars since 2015, with the 2020 season as their only omission, but the only time they played in the semifinals was when they hosted the Final Four in their rookie season. Domestically, Chemik stand third in the Polish league on a 14-5 record.
VakifBank come in as undefeated winners of Pool C and will play in the Champions League quarterfinals for 12th consecutive time. They are on a 13-match winning streak in the competition hoping to make their way to their fifth continental title, after the triumphs in 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2018. In 2019 and 2020, VakifBank were among the semifinalists. They have already secured the first place of the regular season in Turkey, leading the table on 28 wins in 29 games.
We are very excited to play the quarterfinals of the Champions League. We’ve been working for that, for this kind of a moment, for a very long time. We are looking forward to a great match, because Police has a great team, with the best national team players of Poland. Historically, they are the most powerful team in Poland, used to winning a lot in the last decades. It will be a difficult match for sure.
Head coach of VakifBank Istanbul
The aim of all of us is to go past the quarterfinals and reach the semifinals. We want to take the advantage in the first game, away in Police, and then, at home, progress to the next stage. As VakifBank, we always want to be in the final. This match is our next important step towards that goal.
Middle blocker and captain of VakifBank Istanbul
- All Time
VakifBank ISTANBUL huddle
The battle on the net
CLVW-505-Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE vs VakifBank ISTANBUL
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Excellent start for VakifBank in the quarterfinals stage
VakifBank Istanbul turned out to be too strong for the Polish Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE, as in the first quarterfinal match between both teams, the Turks outclassed the home team at 3-0. Performing better in all the components, the players coached by Giovanni Guidetti, took full control of the action on the court from the very beginning, and didn’t let any chances to their opponents. Maja Ognjenovic and her teammates needed only 69 minutes to grab the win, showing excellent play in reception (62%), too. The rematch is taking place next March 4.
• The Turkish powerhouse started much better in the first minutes of the match, taking a comfortable lead by 10 points (15-5). Chemik tried to get back on track and even though showed some will to perform better, still too many unforced errors in the different components affected their game. Isabelle Haak was topping the charts in these moments, recording 6 points for VakifBank. The Turkish finished the first set with 4 aces and 3 successful actions on block.
• The hosts from POLICE entered slightly more concentrated in the second set and it seemed that we were about to see some cat-and-mouse game. But this was only in the beginning of the set. With the set unfolding, the Turkish team took the lead and closed it comfortably at 25-15. VakifBank recorded 5 blocks in this part, with middle blocker Zehra GÜNEŞ shining in these moments.
• Chemik imporved slightly on block in the third set, but this wasn’t enough, as the team from Instanbul pushed hard on the spiking and deservedly closed in their favour.
• Zehra GÜNEŞ was named MVP of the match, having recorded 5 blocks and 9 winning spikes.
• Isabelle Haak of VakifBank became Top Scorer with her 16 points. For the hosts from POLICE, the home star Jovana Brakocevic scored successfully 12 times.
• VakifBank finish with 48% efficiency on attack.
“We had some tied matches recently, and emerging victorious out of them, helped us building up on our confidence. We are doing pretty well. We spent the last 4 days preparing only for this match and entered the court in a very good shape. Our tactic was pretty easy and clear, and we could apply it.”
Maja Ognjenovic, setter, VakifBank Instanbul
“We should have expected that VakifBank will enter in the match this confident . They are one of the best teams in the world, and they wouldn’t have been it, if they weren’t confindent. I am just a little disappointed because we couldn’t react, we should have showed more aggressive play. We were passive, looking at what they were doing, instead of pushing ourselves. Whatever the result in the next match, I hope that we will try to play our game. Our serve was reflection of a our whole game in the first two sets.
Jovana Brakocevic, opposite, Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE
The combined total number of points scored by both teams throughout the entire match.
The total length of the match, from the first serve through until the last point has ended.
Total number of people in attendance at the venue – taken at the end of the second set.
The combined total number of successful spikes achieved by both teams throughout the entire match.
An average of the two team service reception percentages from the complete match.
The number of successful point winning blocks of Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE compared to VakifBank ISTANBUL.
Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE number of service aces compared to VakifBank ISTANBUL
Errors leading to points of Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE, next to those from VakifBank ISTANBUL