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Turkey through to EuroVolley quarterfinals for remake of pool matchup with Russia

28 September 2017 [10:27] - TODAY.AZ

Turkey had to work hard but they eventually secured their spot in the quarterfinals of the 2017 women’s EuroVolley in Baku as they stood up to the challenge brought by a young, determined and dynamic Polish team.

The ‘Sultans of the Net’ emerged victorious after four closely contested sets (25-22, 27-25, 18-25, 25-23) and will continue their #EuroVolleyW campaign on Friday playing Russia at 20:30 local time for a spot in the semis, Azertac reported.

As for Poland, the White-and-Reds can be proud of what they did in Baku – as with such a young team, they fought until the end and did stand a real chance of upsetting Turkey.

This matchup was a remake of the ‘grand finale’ Turkey and Poland had contested two years ago in Baku as well when Azerbaijan’s capital hosted the inaugural European Games.

However, only a very few players among those on the roster of the White-and-Reds had contested that game since Jacek Nawrocki rejuvenated the group after the 2016 season – but such a young Polish team did not seem too intimidated by the star-studded line-up standing on the other side of the net. Poland caught a promising start to the match but Turkey eventually edged ahead for the first time at 11-10 their way. Güldeniz Önal, Gözde Kirdar and Meryem Boz helped Turkey break away after the second technical time-out and the ‘Sultans of the Net’ were able to hold on to their advantage to secure a 25-22 win.

Turkey displayed their attacking power in the early stages of the second set to storm to a 13-6 lead – but after a break Poland somehow found their way back into the game, producing an impressive 9-2 run to draw level at 15-all. Turkey responded with a short positive series on their end (18-15) before Poland rising star Malwina Smarzek restored equality (18-18) with an ace. The young players in white and red shirts played with much resilience and composure as the set approached its end, leading by two at 23-21; Turkey cancelled two set points for Poland before taking the most exciting rally of the game to double their lead in the match (27-25).

Those afraid that the young Polish team would ‘collapse’ after such a setback were wrong – as Poland set the tempo of the game from start to end of the third set (25-18) and they just did the same for most of the fourth one as well. Turkey, however, surged back and at 23-21 could set their sights on the finish line. Poland fought back to 23-all, but Turkey finished it all off shortly afterwards with a monster block to seal their spot in the quarterfinals and go for a remake of their pool match with Russia – where they will be hoping to make amends for the 1-3 loss they suffered in their tournament debut.


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