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Imoco’s players upon winning the Club World Championship final

In a remake of the 2021 final, Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano got back at VakifBank Spor Kulubu to win the Volleyball Women’s Club World Champs 2022 and regain the global crown. Swedish star opposite Isabelle Haak, who had claimed the 2021 title and Most Valuable Player award as a player of the Istanbul club, did it again in 2022 as a player of the Italian team.

The sporting rivalry between Haak and Paola Egonu of Italy, who transferred clubs in the exact opposite direction, swapping places with the Swede, was a highlight of the Club World Champs 2022 final between Imoco and VakifBank. Haak and her new teammates spoiled Egonu’s 24th birthday celebrations on the day of the match. Another representative of a generation of great female opposites, Eczacibasi Dynavit Istanbul's Serbian star Tijana Boskovic finished second to Haak in the tournament's best scorer ranking.

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A high-flying Egonu during the final on her 24th birthday

The three players dominated the event. Haak scored a total of 99 points, Boskovic 95 and Egonu 93, almost double that of the next best scorer of the tournament, Brazilian outside hitter Gabriela Guimaraes of VakifBank, who finished fourth on 49 points.

The four players occupied the top of the best attackers’ ranking in the same order. Boskovic emerged as the best server with eight aces. Three players, Americans Chiaka Ogbogu of VakifBank and Kelsey Robinson of Imoco, and Brazilian Thaisa Menezes of fourth-placed Gerdau Minas of Belo Horizonte shared the top of the best blockers’ chart with eight stuffs each. VakifBank’s Russian outside Irina Voronkova, Imoco’s Italian libero Monica De Gennaro and Eczacibasi’s Serbian playmaker Maja Ognjenovic topped the charts for best receiver, best digger and best setter, respectively.

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MVP Haak spikes against her previous team in the 2022 final

A 23-year-old Isabelle Haak became the second player in the history of the competition to claim the MVP award twice, after Chinese standout Zhu Ting earned the nomination in 2017 and 2018. Haak also headlined the Club World Champs 2022 Dream Team, which included seven athletes, all from the two finalist teams:

Best Setter: Joanna Wolosz (Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano)

Best Opposite: Isabelle Haak (Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano)

Best Outside Hitters: Kelsey Robinson (Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano) and Gabriela Guimaraes (VakifBank Spor Kulubu)

Best Middle Blockers: Chiaka Ogbogu (VakifBank Spor Kulubu) and Zehra Gunes (VakifBank Spor Kulubu)

Best Libero: Monica De Gennaro (Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano)

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The Volleyball Women’s Club World Champs 2022 Dream Team

In order to claim their second title and third medal overall (after the 2019 gold and the 2021 silver), the club from Conegliano qualified for the 2022 edition of the Club World Champs as Europe’s CEV Champions League runners-up. They won Pool A after shutting out Dentil Praia Clube of Uberlandia, Brazil and overcoming tournament hosts Eczacibasi in four sets. They then swept Minas in the semifinals and mastered a 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21) victory over VakifBank in the big final. In the gold medal match alone, Isabelle Haak impressed with as many as 34 points.

“We played a fantastic match and I'm really happy! I love my team. We didn't know how it would go, but we knew we had a great team and we couldn't wait to confront these great opponents. We went forward step by step and did a great job.” Isabelle Haak, opposite of Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano, Club World Championship 2022 gold medallist and MVP
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Coach Santarelli during the final

Imoco’s Italian head coach Daniele Santarelli, who also led the Serbian national team to the title at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship earlier in 2022, became the first coach in history simultaneously in charge of the world champions at both club and national team levels.

“I am overjoyed for this club, which has allowed me to coach an incredible team. I think this trophy is well deserved. We had a tough journey, but we did everything we had to do. It's a wonderful group! I'm happy to have given great joy to the fans of Conegliano.” Daniele Santarelli, head coach of Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano, Club World Championship 2022 gold medallist

Defending club world champions VakifBank qualified for the 2022 edition as European continental champions after defeating Imoco in May’s Champions League gold medal game. Their journey to the world final consisted of straight-set wins over Kuanysh Club of Petropavl, Kazakhstan and Gerdau Minas in Pool B, and Eczacibasi in an all-Turkish semifinal. By claiming the silver medals, they kept alive the tradition of making it to the podium every time they participate in the Club World Championships. The competition’s most decorated club has now collected four golds, two silvers and two bronze medals.

Their city rivals Eczacibasi added the 2022 bronze to the world titles they conquered in 2015 and 2016, the silver medals they won in 2019 and the bronze medals from 2018.

The Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship 2022 took place from December 14 through 18 in the Turkish Mediterranean city of Antalya with the participation of six teams. It was the 15th edition of the competition.