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Turkey’s win over Italy provides biggest thrill of Day One in Mexico

Turkey's players dance in the centre of the court after their thrilling come-from-behind victory over Italy
Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico, October 5, 2013 – It was the first match of the opening day in Tijuana and also the longest and most exciting as Turkey edged Italy in five sets of dramatic action.

The Turkish team erased a 0-2 deficit to claim a thrilling victory in the battle of two hours and 12 minutes between European rivals. Both teams totalled 230 points with Turkey winning 29-31, 16-25, 26-24, 25-22, 17-15.

Ceren Kestirengoz and Ezgi Guc finished with 23 and 19 points, respectively, in leading the scoring charts for the winning side while Valentine Diouf had a match-high 28 points for Italy.

“It is a big victory that will be a booster of our confidence,” Turkey’s coach Mehmet Bedestenlioglu said. 

In the other matches of Pool A, the Dominican Republic cruised past Argentina in straight sets (25-14, 25-18, 25-16) while Japan needed four sets to down Mexico 25-19, 25-13, 20-25, 25-15.

Jeoselyna Rodriguez led the Dominicans with 15 points, including four aces while Saori Takahashi and Yurie Nabeya each collected 16 points to top Japan’s offence. Andrea Rangel finished with 21 points for Mexico.

“We touched many balls at the net and produced with our counter-attacks,” said Marcos Kwiek, the Brazilian coach of Dominican Republic.

“It was a tough match and the girls were a little bit nervous with the noisy crowd,” Japan’s Shigekazu Okubo admitted.

In Pool B, United States crushed Kenya 25-11, 25-11, 25-6 in the first match in Mexicali while China and Brazil both scored 3-1 wins over Germany and Cuba, respectively.

Monique Mancuso was the top scorer for USA with 12 points, while the captain Gina Mancuso added 11.

“Our goal is to get better every day,” USA’s Coach Karch Kiraly said. “I hope to get better as a coach tomorrow.”

China collected a 25-21, 25-22, 18-25, 25-19 triumph and Brazil battled hard for two sets before gunning down Cuba 28-26, 25-27, 25-15, 25-21.

Zhou Yang was the top scorer of China with 20 points, with four blocks included while Ellen Braga led Brazil’s victory with 21 points.

“We won in our first match but there are still some things we must improve,” China’s Xu Jiande said.

“These matches against Cuba are always tough and today was not different,” Brazil’s Claudio Lopes said. “My team did a good job technically and tactically.”

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