FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Reigning champions Turkey suffer shock defeat to in-form Dominicans

Dominican players hug their staff coach after the dramatic 3-1 victory over title-holders Turkey

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, August 1, 2013 – Gallant Dominican Republic completely smashed Turkey’s sweet dreams of retaining their world title to pull off a magnificent come-from-behind 3-1 (16-25 30-28 25-18 25-17) victory over the European giants in a playoff of the last 16 teams in the Girls’ U18 World Championship at the Liptapanlop Hall on Thursday.

In this do-or-die battle, Elizabeth Brayelin Martinez led Dominican Republic with 29 points including 22 kills from 55 determined attempts, while Pelin Aroguz scored a match-high 23 points for Turkey.

Devastating Turkey, which stunned world No.1 China to win their unprecedented world crown on home soil two years ago, played an exceptional defence to win the opening set 25-16, courtesy of their excellent teamwork and tactics.

Going down 0-1, the Dominicans held their nerves. Hefty Elizabeth Brayelin Martinez, who stands 200cm tall, the tournament’s tallest player, was the team’s comeback in the second set. She fired several devastating cross-court spikes from the back court which always went unanswered to put Dominicans in front 21-18.

As the on-going contest became much tighter, Turkey’s Arelya Karasoy sustained a tense leg muscle to lie down on the floor in agony. The injured captain was replaced with Rida Erlalelitepe. From then, both sides exchanged aggressive attacks. However, the Dominicans fared much better. They marched on to win the hard-fought set 30-28.
After a 1-1 equaliser, the Dominicans still came up with their incredible form in the third set. Matinez utitlised her power and height advantage at the net to overcome the smaller blockers with her spectacular attacks and helped her team take the set 25-18.

Their confidence went sky-high after leading 2-1, the Dominicans maintained their poise, winning crucial points through their lightning-fast spikes by Elizabeth Brayelin Martinez and Natalia Martinez and well-placed serves by Angelica Hinojosa Diaz. Despite a determined fightback, Turkey still proved to have no match against the well-organised rivals. The Dominicans won the set 25-17, the match and a quarter-final berth.

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