Turkey beats Russians in final volleyball group game
The Turkish women’s national volleyball team on Aug. 2 fought hard to beat the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) 3-2 in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics preliminary round Pool B match to complete the group phase.
Turkey won the nail-biting clash with the sets of 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-25, 15-10 as the match at Ariake Arena lasted two hours and 16 minutes.
Turkey captain Eda Erdem Dündar said they wanted to put a smile on the faces of the people in Turkey devastated by the recent massive forest fires.
“We have been receiving bad news from our country for days,” she said.
“Our minds are in our country fighting the fires. We are happy if we can make the people focus on volleyball and forget their pain, even if for a few hours. We want them to know that our hearts and minds are in our country. God bless everyone fighting the fires.”
The captain added that the team is ready for the quarterfinals.
“[Turkey coach Giovanni] Guidetti told us: ‘The most important game of the tournament will be the quarterfinals. If we lose, nothing more. Think about it.’ Right now, we are very eager for the quarterfinal match.”
Having previously secured a quarterfinals berth in Tokyo, Turkey was led by outside hitter Meryem Boz as the 33-year-old scored 22 points against the ROC.
The forest fires were also on Boz’s mind.
“Part of us is happy, but part of us is sad because of the fires in our country,” she said.
“There are no easy games here, but I hope that we can go all the way to the final.”
Tuğba Şenoğlu racked up 13 points for Turkey while middle blocker Zehra Güneş had 11.
Irina Voronkova was the top scorer for the Russian side with 20 points.
Arina Fedorovtseva scored 19 points and Nataliya Goncharova added 18.
Turkey had three wins and two losses in Pool B to finish in the third spot. In addition to Turkey, Italy, the U.S. and ROC qualified for the quarterfinals from the group.
The quarterfinal games will be played tomorrow.