Osaka, Japan, November 3, 2010 - Aydemir Naz is young, very young. The oldest starting setter in 2010’s FIVB Women’s World Championship is Elena Keldibekova from Peru. She is 36. Naz just turned 20. But the Turkish setter plays as if it was the easiest thing in the world. With her talent she led her team to a 3-1 record in Pool D, giving Turkey an early ticket to the next round.
Naz was born in 1990 as the only daughter of her parents. Her mother was a middle blocker, her father opposite. If there was a brother, he would probably play on position 4. Naz completes the family team as a setter. As a child, Naz played basketball and has an uncertified national record in high jumping. But since her mother took her for a visit to Eczacibasi’s team practice, she has played volleyball. This was at 9.
At 15, she was catapulted into Eczacibasi’s senior team as their starting setter unexpectedly left. At the end of the season, Naz and her teammates celebrated the championship. In 2009, Naz changed to Fenerbahce Acibadem to win the triple as well as the CEV Champions League silver medals.
“I always try to combine my way of playing with fun; light-hearted and without too many expectations”, says Naz. “In every game I have the unique chance to show my talent. Why not accept the challenge? If I’m in trouble, my more experienced teammates provide me with new energy and confidence.”
The older any wine is, the better it tastes? “There are many years to come and work”, says Naz. “I need to improve my setting with constancy and creativity. So far, we did a good job here in Japan.” Indeed, the Turkish squad booked its next round ticket on Tuesday afternoon. Trailing 0-2 versus Canada, the Turks bounced back bravely.
“We experience too many ups and downs so far. Sometimes it seems like two different teams were playing”, explains the rookie. “To understand this fact, you need to be Turkish. We are probably the most emotional team. To grow we have to find an emotional balance.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Turkey faces Korea for their last Pool match.