Turkish junior women beat Serbia to claim European volleyball title
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Members of the Turkish national junior women volleyball team celebrate after beating Serbia 25-21, 25-22, 25-18 in Ankara yesterday to claim the top spot at the 2012 European Junior Women Championship. AA photoTurkish national junior women volleyball team beat Serbia 25-21, 25-22, 25-18 in Ankara yesterday, to claim the trophy at the 2012 European Junior Women Championship.
The top scorer of the match was Serbia’s captain Bianka Busa with 15 kills, whilst Kübra Akman scored 12 times for Turkey. The home squad booked 10 aces, Serbia only four.
The Turkish squad, which brings together players born in 1994 and 1995, also won the 2011 European Youth Volleyball Championship, as well as the 2011 Volleyball Girls’ Youth World Championship.
Coach Gökhan Edman said his players did a fantastic job. “They followed our game plan from the start until the end. I would like to congratulate my staff members and the Turkish volleyball federation for the great efforts they made.”
Captain Damla Çakıroğlu said the team was well prepared for the challenge. “We were ready for today’s game. We prepared very well. I guess, we played a great tournament and deserved the gold medal.”
Serbia coach Ratko Pavlicevic congratulated the Turkish team.” They were the better team today,” he said. “Thank you for hosting us, it was an outstanding event.”
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Turkish Volleyball Federation chief Erol Ünal Karabıyık to congratulate him on the title.Buoyed by the support of thousands of fans in the stands, Turkey started the match confidently, taking a deserved 8-5 lead at the first technical break.
Turkey keeps cool
Turkey put a lot of pressure on the Serbian passers, but could not stop Serbia bouncing back at 12-12. However, Turkey kept cool to regain momentum by the second technical time-out (16-13). Ceylan Arısan brought up set point with a quick combination on the right hand side, before Turkish setter Çağla Akın blocked Nikolina Lukic to give the host a hard-earned 1-0 set lead.
However, Serbia came back strongly. At the first technical time-out in the second set, the Eastern Europeans already led 8-3. Captain Bianka Busa added some impressive winners to her scorers chart and the two Serbian middle-blockers Mina Popovic and Jelena Trnic were insurmountable at the net. At the second technical break, Serbia was still five points ahead. Turkey tried to take advantage of the imprecise passing of Serbian libero Nadica Dragutinovic, but her teammates helped her with some remarkable offensive actions. Nevertheless, Turkey came closer with six consecutive points to turn the tables at 19-17. It was the turning point of the second set. Turkey never looked back, with Kübra Akman closing it out for the home squad at 25-22.
The story of the game didn’t change in the third set. Turkey jumped out for an 8-5 lead at the first technical stop. Serbia still struggled with passing, forcing setter Sladjana Mirkovic to slow down her game. As a consequence, the Turkish defense players showed some brilliant back court play. At the second technical time-out, the scoreboard already displayed a seven-point gap in Turkey’s favor.
Çakıroğlu smashed for 21-13, before Akman blocked for a 23-16 Turkish lead a few rallies later. Aktaş brought up match point with an impressive winner on the right, before a Serbian net touch bounced the Turkish ladies into heaven.