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Volleyball - 19. March 2019.

Clubs hit Playoffs as Leagues go down to the wire

As domestic and international club leagues enter their playoffs nter their playoffs phases across the globe, the world's volleyball superstars continue to thrill fans in a preview of what's to follow later this year when they join their National Teams for a highly anticipated FIVB season which begins in May with the Volleyball Nations League.

With 13 points fromáBruna Honorioáplus 11 more fromáGabi Guimaraesáand 10 fromáNatalia Pereira, Itambe / Minas Tenis Clube wrapped up the Regular Season in Brazil's Women's Superleague in first place after a 3-0 (25-21, 25-10, 25-16) on the road over Curitiba Volei.

Starting the Playoffs tomorrow in pole position, Minas Tenis Clube meet Curutiba again in the best-of-three quarterfinals, which also feature Dentil / Praia Clube of Uberlandia v. Fluminense of Rio de Janeiro, Hinonde Barueri v. Osasco / Audax and Sesc Rio de Janeiro v Sesi Volei Bauru.

• Elsewhere, The Playoffs have begun in Turkey's Women's Superleague, with the favourites all emerging victorious in the first of the four best-of-three quarterfinals.áKubra AkmanáandáEbrar Karakurtáshared top scoring honours with 12 points each and China'sáZhu Tingáadded 11 more in VakifBank Istanbul's 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 26-24) over Nilufer Beleidyespor.
• Meanwhile, Cuba'sáMelissa Vargasáwith 18 points led Fenerbahce Opet to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 28-26) sweep of Turk Hava Yollari andáHande Baladinástarred in Galatasaray's win over Besiktas 3-1 (22-25, 25-15, 25-15, 27-25) with 23 points. Regular Season leaders Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul don't play until 28 March, when they face Kameroglu.
• However, Eczacibasi had started their European Champions League quarterfinals campaign with a convincing 3-0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-22) sweep of Italy's Imoco Volley Conegliano on the road midweek, with Serbia'sáTijana Boskovicásocring 25 points and Korea'sáKim Yoen-Koungáadding 14.
• In other Champions League action midweek,áNataliya Goncharovaáscored 26 points andáIrina Fetisovaáanother 19 as Dinamo Moscow narrowly defeated VakifBank 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 15-13), despite 26 points from the Netherland'sáLonneke Sloetjesáand 24 from Zhu.
• Led byáPaola Egonu'sá33 points Igor Gorgonzola Novara beat Allianz MTV Stuttgart 3-1 (25-19, 26-24, 19-25, 25-20) in Germany, and Fenerbahce downed Savino del Bene Scandicci 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21) in Italy with 21 points each from Vargas and Mexico'sáSamantha Bricioáto wrap up the European Champions League action.

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