MATCH INFO

China stay perfect with Turkey scalp


China clinched Pool E with a hard-fought win over Turkey

Ankara, Turkey, August 18, 2011 – In front of 3,600 thrilled spectators at Baskent Sports Hall in Ankara, China continued their unbeaten run at the FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship 2011 on Thursday evening with a 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 25-17) win over host Turkey in the second round.

Both teams had already qualified for the semifinals but with their victory, China ensured they finished Pool E with a 3-0 win-loss record while Turkey dropped to 2-1. China’s Ting Zhu and Damla Cakiroglu of Turkey led the way with 14 and 18 points respectively.

There was nothing to separate Pool E’s top teams until 21-21 in the first set. Both teams showed high-level volleyball with gripping net actions and breath-taking defense movements. Two sharp spikes through the middle by Chinese Ningya Tang gave China a two-point lead at 23-21. Turkish coach Sahin Catma promptly called his team off court, but the Asians kept the momentum by a further two points to take a hard-fought 1-0 set lead.

However, the young Turkish stars didn’t mope early in the second period. Led by exceptional captain Damla Cakiroglu, Turkey came back from behind to convert a 4-7 and 6-8 leeway into a comfortable 16-12 lead at the second technical break. While China scored more block points (7-2), Turkey was better in serving (10-6) and spiking (24-17). Cakiroglu closed the set out 25-19 with her sixth (!) ace to draw level. 

Spectacular rallies kept the scores close at the start of the third set, before Ece Hocaoglu came up with two big spikes to move the hosts forward. It was an impressive volleyball ceremony in Baskent Sports Hall with the 3,600 Turkish fans singing and cheering for their rising stars. Indeed, Argentina, Slovakia and USA joined the party to get a lesson from their contemporaries. However, three set balls were not enough for Turkey as the Chinese express was unstoppable now. Two healthy spikes by China’s top scorer Ruoya Xu and some good work of middle blocker Xinyue Yuan dashed the Turkish hopes for a 2-1 set lead. 

Mentally broken, the Turks were not able to react in the fourth set. China kept the pace in heady heights to finish the set 25-17, and the match 3-1.
 

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