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Turkey thwart Dominican fightback in five-setter

Turkey improved to 2-1 with a five-set victory over the Dominican Republic. The Dominicans had two match points in the fifth set but could not convert them.

Osaka, Japan, October 31, 2010 -  Turkey improved to 2-1 with a five-set victory (25-20, 25-14, 23-25, 23-25, 17-15) over the Dominican Republic on the third day of play in Pool D at the FIVB Women's World Championship at Osaka City Municipal Gymnasium.

FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page

The 11th-ranked Dominicans started slowly and struggled for the first two sets against their 22nd-ranked foes before roaring back into the match. The loss was the third in a row for Marcos Kwiek's team who will rue their failure to convert two match points in the deciding set. Turkey's victory repeated their success over the same opponents in their one previous meeting at the 2003 World Cup – though this was rather harder-earned than that 3-0 win.

Neslihan Darnel was the star performer for Turkey with a match-high 27 points while Eda Erdem and Neriman Ozsoy added 18 apiece. Prisilla Rivera was the top scorer for the Dominican Republic with 24 points.

Turkey led 16-9 at the Second Technical Timeout (STT) of the first set thanks to a telling contribution from Darnel who teamed up with setter Naz Aydemir to set the tone for Mehmet Bedestenlioglu's side. Although Annerys Vargas produced a nice tip to narrow the Dominicans' deficit to two points at 22-20, Turkey eventually closed out the set 25-20.

Turkey continued their dominance in the second set, taking a 16-7 lead into the STT. The Dominicans were struggling with both their communication and tactics and went down 25-14 yet the momentum changed in the third set after Kwiek changed setters, bringing in Niverka Marte. Finally discovering some consistency, they tied the set at 20-20 and took the lead on a nice block at the net. From 22-20, the Dominicans allowed the Turks to tie at 22-22 but Kwiek's team stayed out in front despite a Turkey timeout, claiming the set 25-23.

The Dominican Republic now had the wind in their sails with libero Brenda Castillo and spiker Eve playing particularly well. They led 16-13 at the STT in the fourth set and although the lead changed hands several times down the stretch, it was no surprise when the Dominicans prevailed 25-23.

So to the decider and Turkey were 10-8 up when the Dominican Republic took a timeout after which they responded with four straight points to take a 12-8 lead. The Turks fought back to 12-12 but got out of jail when the Dominicans failed to convert two match points. Bedestenlioglu’s side took theirs to secure victory. After Monday's rest day, Turkey will play Canada next on Tuesday, while the Dominican Republic will meet China.

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