Friday, 19 September 2014
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 Match info | Description
Belgium captures the bronze medal coming back from two sets down

Belgium double block in action to stop Turkish captain Ceren
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, July 12, 2009. Having gone through a disappointing semifinal against Serbia and Brazil respectively, European champions Belgium and Turkey were likely to put up a fierce fight for the bronze medal and that was actually the case. The Belgians still had the chance to write history after their dazzling gold at the European Championships, as their country had never medaled before in any World Championships, including seniors and juniors, for both genders, and coming from two sets down they eventually achieved that goal resisting to the amazing performance of the Turks (20-25, 24-26, 25-19, 28-26, 15-7).
The Turks wanted so badly their revenge after the defeat in straight sets they had suffered in the second round that they immediately started off in great fashion, blocking quite systematically Belgian captain and tournament’s Best Scorer Lise van Hecke. The score stayed leveled up to a tie at 17, then Turkey served strongly and the block especially worked out extremely well for a great 25-20 and the provisional 1-0 in the set count.
The “young Sultans” appeared much more motivated for this game whereas the girls of coach Julien van de Vyver were struggling in reception as they already did in their semifinal against Serbia. Having relaxed for a bit, Turkey had to fight back but leveled at 12 with a great serving turn for Ezgi, but also thanks to the help coming from the Belgians whose attacks fell quite often well off the court. The final section of the set was definitely full of tension: Belgium missed two set balls at 24-22, Selin served an ace for Turkey and after a couple of passive blocks against their captain, the Belgians committed a fault at the net to be forced to try a very demanding comeback from two sets down.
The Turks had a kind of black-out in the opening of the third set: Belgium scored five points in a row with setter Ilka van de Vyver in the serving area but that re-assuring margin was maintained only up to the first technical break (8-4 for Belgium). However, van Hecke & Co. sped up again mid of the set with a series of good blocks and much more consistency also in attack with Sarah Dovogja and Juliette Thevenin, so that they could start rising their hopes to make it at least to the fourth set. And that was definitely the case, with Belgium silvering the second set-ball after a stellar saving of libero van Nimmen – who finished right in front of the press seats – and captain van Hecke closing with a powerful diagonal spike (25-19).
Belgium re-started its hunt with the right pace also in the fourth set but with a sudden flurry of errors Turkey was rapidly back well threatening and got for the first time a significant lead at 15-11 with a couple of winning serves of nr 13 Sibel and a mighty double block on van Hecke. The final destiny of the match was not yet defined, as Belgium found a way to fight back and tie at 19, but the last rallies were definitely dazzling: Turkey did not control the nerves and missed a couple of match balls, van Hecke punished the Turks and among the crazy excitement of the Thai fans Belgium went for the tie-break.
The Turks suffered of that shock and in the tie-break were no longer able to perform at their best: actually there was a kind of mess on their side of the court, the reception was definitely out of control and silly mistakes were coming even from the players that had been extremely consistent in the previous sets (8-3 for Belgium). The fifth set was quickly over, for the deep sadness of the Turks who had definitely missed their chance in the fourth set.
 
  

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