Press release

Host Turkey outlast Serbia in marathon semifinal

There was nothing to separate the two teams in the fifth and deciding set. Finally, host Turkey overpowered Serbia 3-2.

Ankara, Turkey, August 20, 2011 – In front of 4,700 thrilled fans, host Turkey scored a hard-fought victory over Serbia in a highly competitive five-set semifinal (25-14, 14-25, 25-17, 20-25, 16-14) to advance to the gold medal match at the 2011 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship at Baskent Sports Hall in Ankara, Turkey on Sunday.

In their fourth international duel this year, Turkey improved their record to 3-1 with today’s win. Serbia had won the European Olympic Youth Festival semifinal in Trabzon (Turkey) in July while Turkey prevailed two times at 2011 CEV Girls' Youth European Championship in May. 

Serbia’s Nikolina Lukic topped the scores with 26 points while Mina Popovic and Natasa Cikiriz registered 13 and 11 points respectively for Serbia. Turkish captain Damla Cakiroglu finished with a match-high 14 points. Two other Turkish players compiled double digits in the scoring charts with Kubra Akman and Ece Hocaoglu notching twelve points each. The Serbians held the upper hand in the attacking category (43-36) while Turkey edged their opponents 10-9 in the aces department.

In the first set, Turkey dominated early, taking leads of 16-10 on Seyma Ercan’s ace, and then 20-11 as the Serbs struggled in reception. It was a disproportion in terms of mistakes in the first period. While the hosts only committed five, the guests from Serbia already had 14 mistakes in their statistics after twenty minutes of play. 197cm tall Kubra Akman closed the first set out for the Turks to delight the big majority of the 4,700 fans in Baskent Sports Hall.  
In the second set the young Serbs raised their game, surprising many who expected Turkey to blow them out after the first set. Milan Grsic’s side took leads of 4-1, 10-3 and 20-9 on Lukic’s spikes and strong blocking by Popovic in particular.  The hosts seemed slow to react as the Serbians controlled most of the net actions, and also showed solid defense play.  Serbian setter Sladjana Mirkovic finished the set in Serbia’s favor to draw it level, 1 set to 1.  

Both teams still felt like sitting on a roller-coaster as the match went on. With Turkey dominating the first and Serbia ruling the second set, it was again Turkey’s tour in the third period. The hosts increased their speed and power at the net while Serbia fell back with nine unforced errors compared to only two in the second installment. On the other side, Cagla Akin ran an almost flawless offensive game for Turkey. With Cakiroglu and Hocaoglu as hard-hitting outside hitters and efficient middle blocker Akman, the Turkish setter had good alternatives to set up variable offensive combinations. Captain Cakiroglu concluded the set 25-17 for Turkey with a convincing winner from the left. 

The play intensified in the beginning of the fourth set. However, as a copy of the previous sets and as a logical consequence of this up-and-down semifinal, it was again Serbia who took an early lead. It seemed as one side of the court was bringing good luck and the other one was doomed to fail. Turkish coach Sahin Catma called his young players off court at 11-17 for a serious chat. It helped as some moments later the hosts bounced back muscularly from 12-20 to 17-20 to reduce the gap to three points. However, in a chorus of whistles the Serbs proved strong nerves with Lukic bringing up set point at 24-19 with a well-timed tip, and closing it out with a blistering winner down the line to make it 2 sets to 2.  

In the deciding fifth period, player of the match Lukic soared for a spike to make it 2-0 for Serbia, before Turkey fought back valiantly with a spectacular block from Seyma Ercan on Natasa Cikiriz to level at 4-4. Compared to the four previous sets, there was nothing to separate the two teams in the fifth set. Popovic hammered the Mikasa down for an 8-6 Serbian lead at changeover. Then Turkish captain Damla Cakiroglu blasted another from the left wing for 9-10 before Ece Hocaoglu tied the score at 10-10. Serbia appeared on the edge of defeat with Turkey scoring relentless to turn the tables at 13-10. Lukic kept the Serbian hopes alive with a spike to 13-13. Then Turkey had a first match ball after Popovic sent her service out of bounds, but Lukic hammered back from the left. The hosts got their second chance at 15-14. Cakiroglu’s serve was called in by the referees, bouncing the Turkish team as well as 4,700 flipping fans to heaven.

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

22.08.2011 07:54:34
A blue print for Mexican volleyball program starts in Turkey

Ankara, Turkey, August 22, 2011- Among other rising teams at the 2011 Girls’ Youth World Championship in Turkey, Mexico girls team who finished at t... More...

21.08.2011 20:06:21
We always had the final participation as our goal, says Turkey coach

Turkey coach Sahin Catma: "Since the early start of the tournament we had the final participation as our goal. We passed to the final with difficultie... More...

21.08.2011 20:01:39
Turkey claim Girls’ Youth World Championship gold

Ankara, Turkey, August 21, 2011- Turkey entered the history book when they crowned with the gold medal at the FIVB Girls’ Youth World championship i... More...

21.08.2011 18:01:17
Turkey outclass China to claim the World Championship gold

21.08.2011 16:38:31
"Bronze is like gold for us" says Serbia captain Busa Bianca

21.08.2011 16:05:13
It was a privilege to play world champs, says US captain

21.08.2011 15:54:13
Resurgent Serbia put paid to Poland to win the bronze

21.08.2011 15:46:05
USA finish ninth with fifth consecutive win

21.08.2011 14:57:04
"We are in the top 5, so we are happy for that." says Germany coach Tietböhl

21.08.2011 14:21:01
It was important to show a reaction, says Italy captain

21.08.2011 14:12:35
Germany rebound positively to overcome Brazil 3-1

21.08.2011 13:38:11
Italy sink Mexico to finish eleventh

21.08.2011 12:19:02
It was important to finish the tournament on a high note, says Thailand captain

21.08.2011 12:10:28
"I hope the experience will help in the next tournament" says the Japan coach Hanzawa

21.08.2011 11:58:44
Thailand power to 13th rank

21.08.2011 11:24:10
Japan Cruise past Argentina for the seventh position

21.08.2011 10:57:47
We needed one set to wake up, says Puerto Rico coach

21.08.2011 10:37:59
Puerto Rico sign off with second victory over Algeria

20.08.2011 22:32:41
“Dance for unity, dance for volleyball,” says Puerto Rico captain

20.08.2011 22:05:53
Undefeated China and host Turkey to play for the 2011 FIVB Girls’ Youth title

20.08.2011 20:45:23
It was not fluke that Poland played the semis, says China coach

20.08.2011 20:28:54
China beat Poland in four to reach final versus Turkey

20.08.2011 19:57:28
''We played much better than Italy,'' says Slovakia coach Kosekova.

20.08.2011 19:42:49
Outstanding Slovakia surprise Italy in three sets

20.08.2011 18:39:06
It’s difficult to play in an atmosphere like that, says Serbia coach

20.08.2011 17:34:26
"I didn't have much expectations in this tournament,” says the USA Coach Stone

20.08.2011 17:00:47
USA overpower fighting Mexico to battle for the ninth position

20.08.2011 16:06:55
"The high spirit made us victorious in this match" says the Egypt Coach Ahmed

20.08.2011 16:05:38
Derbies have their own rules, says Brazil coach

20.08.2011 15:17:06
Egypt prevail in close-fought contest with Puerto Rico

20.08.2011 15:00:19
Brazil top Argentina in hard-fought South American duel

20.08.2011 13:14:53
Libero Pogany brought stability back in service reception, says German coach

20.08.2011 12:38:10
"Algeria is a team for future," says the Thailand coach Niemtuptim.

20.08.2011 12:23:45
Germany see off Japan in four sets

20.08.2011 11:59:52
Thailand back to winning ways against Algeria

20.08.2011 10:34:17
“No problem to play volleyball with head scarf," says Egypt libero Perihan

20.08.2011 00:47:16
Turkey v Serbia and China v Poland in the Girls’ Youth World Championship semis

19.08.2011 23:34:51
Coaches eager to the final spot at the Girls’ Youth World champs

19.08.2011 16:37:17
To be a female volleyball referee – is a big challenge

19.08.2011 01:49:47
Serole and Odundo give another breath to African referees in the World Champs

18.08.2011 22:40:37
Semis confirmed as Serbia and Poland complete quartet at 2011 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship

18.08.2011 21:42:34
Beating Brazil is a dream for Japanese players, says Japan coach

18.08.2011 21:22:52
Japan dash Brazil’s hopes for semis

18.08.2011 20:46:02
"We came to World Championship to improve ourselves and we did,", say Puerto Rico coach

18.08.2011 20:30:29
Puerto Rico overpower Algeria by Santana’s gun

18.08.2011 18:57:30
We’ll play again versus China in the gold medal match, says Turkey coach

18.08.2011 18:53:52
“I’m glad to see my team playing like this in an international tournament,'' Says Italy coach Pieragnoli.

18.08.2011 18:21:10
China stay perfect with Turkey scalp

18.08.2011 18:01:31
Italy see off Mexico to top Pool H

18.08.2011 16:58:52
"Our country has the priority," Said the double nationality Egyptian girls

18.08.2011 16:28:13
I’m proud of my team, says Serbia coach

18.08.2011 16:08:06
"I’m Impressed by the Egyptian defence" says the America Coach

18.08.2011 15:54:02
Serbians down Poland to clinch semifinal spot

18.08.2011 15:31:48
USA maintain momentum with Egypt win

18.08.2011 14:51:32
"It was a tight tiebreak win,” says Slovakia Head Coach

18.08.2011 13:50:23
Slovakia rebounded to outlast the fighting Thailand

18.08.2011 13:32:39
We controlled the match from start to finish, says German captain

18.08.2011 13:10:20
Germany roll past Argentina

17.08.2011 22:43:39
Host Turkey and China book semifinal tickets

17.08.2011 22:04:40
We had not enough power in the fifth set, explains Poland captain

17.08.2011 21:43:24
Brazil get back on track with Polish win

17.08.2011 20:54:51
“We want to finish the competition within the top 10,” says Mexico coach Garcia

17.08.2011 20:26:50
Mexico overwhelm Algeria in three sets

17.08.2011 19:01:45
"Although we won this match, this tournament was a disappointment" says the Head Coach of Italy

17.08.2011 18:31:33
Turkey can make it to the gold medal match, says Argentina coach

17.08.2011 18:20:12
Italy hardly see off passionate Puerto Rico

17.08.2011 18:07:48
Turkey book semifinal ticket with victory over Argentina

17.08.2011 16:40:54
“Egypt played a good match today and even they were better than us in many moments,'' says Slovakia coach

17.08.2011 15:55:33
Discipline was the key to success, says Serbia coach

17.08.2011 15:34:15
Slovakia rout Egypt in a close encounter

17.08.2011 15:29:53
In-form Serbia steam past Japan

17.08.2011 14:03:57
"It was a competitive match" says the USA cap. McCage.

17.08.2011 13:36:03
China deserve their spot in the semis, says German coach

17.08.2011 13:08:34
USA clinch victory against spirited Thailand

17.08.2011 12:59:59
China advance after overpowering Germans

16.08.2011 21:47:15
Host Turkey and China stretch leads as World No. 1 Brazil and Japan lose

16.08.2011 21:12:30
“We need to finish in the nine to twelve positions." says the Head Coach of Mexico

16.08.2011 21:05:08
This is our first step to final four, says Poland coach

16.08.2011 20:45:06
Poland send Japan to first defeat

16.08.2011 20:38:09
Mexico open second round with victory over spirited Puerto Rico

16.08.2011 18:45:59
It was important to show our best level today, says Turkish captain Cakiroglu

16.08.2011 18:44:24
"This is not good to play for the 9-16 brackets," says the Italian Coach Pieragnoli

16.08.2011 17:47:38
Turkey rout Germans to continue winning streak

16.08.2011 17:47:15
Resurgent Italy put paid to Algeria

16.08.2011 16:16:25
"Although we lost, it was the best match for our team,” says Slovakia Head Coach Eva Kosekova

16.08.2011 16:15:25
We were very well prepared, explains China coach

16.08.2011 16:01:13
Unbeaten China roll on with Argentina win

16.08.2011 15:32:44
USA hammer Slovakia in straight sets

16.08.2011 14:59:11
First win ever over Brazil, says Serbia coach

16.08.2011 14:41:27
Serbia surprise unbeaten Brazil in epic thriller

16.08.2011 13:59:06
"Egypt pushed harder but we managed to win" says the Thailand Head Coach

16.08.2011 12:49:14
Thailand post first win by overpowering Egypt

16.08.2011 11:42:12
“At 14 y I achieved my dreams with volleyball,” says Egypt’s Heidi

16.08.2011 09:25:54
USA's twins Rolfzen prefer volleyball than basketball

16.08.2011 00:46:56
Stakes set to rise for world's best girls' youth teams

15.08.2011 23:45:47
Coaches optimistic for more success at the Girls’ Youth World Champs second round

15.08.2011 15:55:34
Puerto Rico’s tower Alba Fernandez can fly in the World Championship sky

14.08.2011 21:29:58
Germany and Serbia join top eight at Girls’ Youth World Championship

14.08.2011 20:41:14
“I am proud of all my players. The harder opponents we play, the more we improve" says the USA Coach James Stone.

14.08.2011 20:06:54
China maintain momentum with USA tough win