Haak heads VakifBank into Turkish League final

Young Swedish star leads team with another double-digit performance

Coming off a 19-point performance on March 31, Isabelle Haak followed up with another double-digit scoring game to lead 11-time Turkish Volleyball League winners VakifBank Istanbul to another shot at the final after beating Turk Hava Yollari 3-0 (25-20, 25-9, 25-15) in the playoffs at the VakıfBank Spor Sarayı on Monday.

Haak led all scorers with 15 points off 14 kills and a block. The rest of the VakifBank starting unit also had a productive night, as Gabi Guimaraes added 10 markers, while Kubra Caliskan, Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Zehra Gunes each scored nine points. Ebrar Karakurt, who was effective both in offence and defence for the visiting team, chalked up 14 markers in the losing effort.

The first set played out fairly evenly as both squads carried out their offence well, but things remained quiet for Turk Hava Yollari for the next two sets as their errors slowed them down in offence.

Meanwhile, Eczacibasi Vitra tied their playoff series with Fenerbahce Opet, posting a down-to-the-wire 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 19-25, 25-23, 19-17) win at Burhan Felek Vestel Voleybol Salonu.

Eczacibasi’s Tijana Boskovic had a scoring showdown with Fenerbahce’s Melissa Vargas. The Serbian world champion recorded 33 points, while the 21-year-old Cuban star had 27 points.

Despite Fenerbahce’s better start, Eczacibasi claimed the first set with the help of libero Simge Akoz’s defensive heroics and Boskovic’s scoring leadership. Fenerbahce responded with back-to-back set wins.

Eczacibasi were down 22-18 in the fourth, but their net defence clicked, helping them to stage a comeback at 25-23. Another thrilling clash ensued in the extended final set with a single attack point by Eczacibasi and an attack error by Fenerbahce favouring the former to close the match at 17-15.

Game 3 of the Eczacibasi-Fenerbahce playoff series will take place on April 7 to decide which team will face VakifBank in the Turkish League final that will begin on April 10.

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