Turkey stun Brazil with five-set victory in Tokyo
• Gozde Sonsirma was the top scorer in the match with 23 points while her teammate Neriman Ozsoy had 21. Brazil’s top scorer was Tandara Caixeta with 20 points.
• Turkey had 12 service points to Brazil’s one.
• Brazil only dropped two sets in their nine Preliminary Round matches.
• Brazil had won both of their previous World Grand Prix matches against Turkey.
• Brazil had won their last 11 matches against European opposition in the World Grand Prix Finals, since losing 3-1 to Italy in the 2007 World Grand Prix Finals.
• Turkey reached the finals for the second time after a third-place finish in 2012. They came in eighth in 2013 and seventh on their debut in 2008.
• Turkey have now won World Grand Prix matches against five of the six former winners, Brazil, China, Cuba, Russia and USA. The Netherlands are the other former winners.
• Turkey have won four of their five five-set matches this season.
• Brazil have won gold or silver in nine of the last 10 World Grand Prix editions, finishing fifth in 2007.
• Brazil had won their previous 18 World Grand Prix matches, conceding only three sets in those 18 matches.
Both teams showed flashes of their talent in the early stages of the first set but they also made errors. After a wide shot by Thaisa Menezes saw his team fall behind 12-9, Brazil coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes called a timeout. But the Turks were showing plenty of fight, defending and blocking well. Sheilla Castro sent a serve long and Turkey were 16-11 ahead at the second technical timeout. Brazil called a second timeout at 19-13 as they struggled to break down the Turks. Gozde Sonsirma made some sharp kills down the left as Turkey extended their lead and she brought up setpoint at 24-17, which was converted by Bahar Toksoy.
Sonsirma kept Turkey alive as Brazil opened up a 6-3 lead early in the second set on the back of some good play by Fernanda Rodrigues and a thumping spike by Jaqueline Carvalho. But the Turks turned things around as Brazil struggled to find their best game. After a kill by Neriman Ozsoy put Turkey 12-9 ahead, Ze Roberto called his players off court for a talk. But Turkey kept the pressure on and an unreturnable serve by Ozsoy saw them 16-12 ahead at the second TTO. Then Turkey lost their way. Ozsoy netted a serve, Sonsirma was blocked by Dani Lins and they failed to deal with a serve by Sheilla, which levelled the scores at 16. Turkey pulled the score back from 21-23 to 23-23 before Guldeniz Onal dropped a serve into the hole to give Turkey setpoint. Sheilla sent a shot down the right wide and Turkey were 2-0 up.
Brazil made two service reception errors early in the third set while Turkey’s Sonsirma and Ozsoy sent down two blistering drives and Turkey forced a Brazil timeout at 6-1. Two more errors – a netted serve by Tandara Caixeta and a reception error by Fernanda – saw Turkey four points ahead at the first TTO. Onal made two quick tipovers at the net for a couple of points and Sonsirma delivered another thunderbolt as Turkey stretched their lead to six points at 12-6. Brazil turned the pressure up and Turkey coach Massimo Barbolini called a timeout at 13-10. Good blocks by Carolina Da Silva and Gabi Guimaraes helped Brazil close to within a point at 15-14 and two more blocks – by Dani Lins and Jaqueline – drew the scores level at 17-17. They were still level at 20-20 when Brazil turned the screw once more. Gabi and Carol came up with huge blocks to make the score 23-20 and two good hits by Tandara earned Brazil the set.
Carol put Brazil in the driving seat at the start of the fourth set with two good blocks and a service ace, while Tandara contributed a pair of good hits either side of Turkey’s first timeout, which came with Brazil leading 6-2. Hits by Gabi and blocks by Tandara put more pressure on Turkey and Brazil were five points up at 17-12 after a wide shot by Akyol Naz Aydemir. Barbolini brought in Yeliz Basa and she quickly came up with two big blocks on Gabi, forcing Ze Roberto to call a timeout at 17-16. A Brazil error then saw the scores tied at 17 before a spike and a block by Fabiana Claudino and two hits by Sheilla opened up a four-point gap for Brazil at 21-17. Jaqueline brought setpoint with a shot to make it 24-19 and a block by Sheilla on Sonsirma sent the match to a tiebreaker.
Two spikes each by Sonsirma and Ozsoy and a reception error by Jaqueline allowed Turkey to take a 5-2 lead in the fifth set but they were only two points ahead at the change-around thanks to errors of their own. A big block by Kubra Akman on Jaqueline gave Turkey breathing space at 9-6 when Ze Roberto called a timeout. After a thunderbolt from Tandara and another block from Carol, Barbolini called a timeout. Tandara and Sonsirma traded blows but Turkey stayed ahead. At 11-12, Ze Roberto brought in Fabiola Sousa and she sent her serve into the net. Ozsoy then forced a spike through the Brazilian defence to give Turkey three matchpoints. Gabi saved one before Ozsoy squeezed a shot through to give the Turks a massive win.