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Turkey rally to upset powerhouse China

Turkey upset China in four sets (19-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-17) in their opening match in Pool D at the FIVB Women's World Championship on Friday afternoon

Osaka, Japan, October 29, 2010 – Turkey upset powerhouse China in four sets (19-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-17) in their opening match in Pool D at the FIVB Women's World Championship at Osaka Municipal City Gymnasium on Friday afternoon.

China came into the match ranked third in the world and with Turkey down in 22nd, it had all the makings of a mismatch yet Mehmet Bedestenliogu's charges had other ideas as they overcame a 1-0 deficit in emphatic fashion to claim a stirring victory.

Turkey's Neslihan Darnel, the top scorer at the 2006 world championship, closed out the match with an ace and led the scoring with 26 points overall (22 on attack). Seda Tokatlioglu added 18 (all on attack). For China, Li Juan and Xue Ming both recorded 16 points, while teammate Ma Yunwen contributed 15.

FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page

Turkey had an 8-7 lead at the First Technical Timeout (FTT) of the first set and the contest went back and forth before China surged into a 21-16 lead. The Asian side then closed out the set with a prodigious strike from Ma who finished the opening set with five points – the same total as Xue and Turkey's Darnel.

Turkey were 16-10 up by the Second Technical Timeout (STT) of a second set that featured some lovely rallies and that the impressive Turks secured with a nicely placed tip by Naz Aydemir. Into the third set and China won a wonderful rally to cut Turkey's lead to 11-10. Li Juan showed impressive fortitude during the rally after taking a shot right in the face but recovering to keep the ball in play shortly after. When a nice block by Bahar Toksoy put Turkey in front at 24-18, China responded with two points and then called a timeout. But the Turks were unfazed and ended the third set on a spike by Tokatliogu.

The fourth set was closely fought with Turkey leading 13-11 when China took a timeout to try and regroup. Yet Yu Juemin's side were not able to reduce the deficit and went into the STT trailing 16-13. Turkey then scored three straight points to make it 19-13 and although China responded with two points of their own, it was already too late.

This was an impressive showing by Turkey, who executed several option plays to perfection during the match. Coach Bedestenlioglu has formed a cohesive unit who showed great team spirit throughout and can look ahead to facing Russia on Saturday with increased confidence. China, meanwhile, will try to bounce back when they face Canada.

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