Women’s volleyball team advance in European Championship
Wing spiker Ebrar Karakurt led Turkey with 20 points in a 25-18, 25-14, 25-23 victory at the Kolodruma Sports Hall in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Turkey’s opponent in tomorrow’s semifinal game will be the winner of the quarterfinal clash between Serbia and France, which was scheduled to be played late yesterday.
Outside spiker Hande Baladin thanked Turkish supporters who were in the stands in Plovdiv.
“It was really amazing to play in front of them,” she said after the game.
“The key for today’s win was our aggression. At the start of the tournament our goal was to get a medal. Now we’re going to Belgrade hungry for gold.”
Turkey coach Giovanni Guidetti said the game was tougher than the score indicated.
“It was a difficult match for us,” he said.
“Poland played well but my players had courage and aggression. They are very, very tired. But they never give up.”
He added that the support in Plovdiv and back in the country made his players proud.
“The atmosphere in Plovdiv was just incredible,” he said.
“I know it’s not far away from Istanbul, but still, it was amazing. But do you know what the greatest thing is? The fans in Turkey watched the match in the parks, in a big stadium. I saw this before only for football. That’s why I’m very proud, because my team gave a great night to the Turkish fans.”
Turkey wasted no time against against Poland, which was up by four when Karakurt went on a scoring spree in the first set. An ace sandwiched between two monster spikes gave Turkey a lead it never relinquished
The EuroVolley 2019 silver medalists quickly jumped to a four-point lead that only grew bigger. Suffocating block, 73 percent kill rate in attack, three aces and a number of spectacular saves by libero Simge Aköz. All that contributed to the 11-points difference in the final score.
Poland kept the score tied until 13-13 in the third set. Then Hande Baladin and Eda Erdem hit timely aces helping Turkey build a comfortable lead. On the first two match points Karakurt was stopped by kill blocks by Zuzanna Efimienko-Mlotkowska but on the third time of asking Turkish outside spiker put an exclamation point with a thunderous spike.