London 2012

Press release

Turkey celebrates first Olympic win by downing sloppy Serbia

The players of Turkey's national team pose as they celebrate their first win in the tournament where they are enjoying their first Olympic appearance in history

London, Great Britain, August 1, 2012 – Turkey beat Serbia in straight sets (25-20, 25-12, and 25-21) in their third pool B women’s preliminary-round match at Earls Court on Wednesday. This is Turkey’s first win on the Olympic stage after the side mentored by Marco Aurelio Motta had previously lost to Brazil and China. As for Serbia, the 2011 European champions are still chasing their first positive result in the tournament with their negative record having been extended to three consecutive defeats. 

The first set started evenly as both sides tried to find their rhythm. Neslihan Darnel was spiking most of her side’s points while Jovana Brakocevic was dominating for the Serbians. Both teams established small leads before letting their opponents back in due to a lack of consistency in their play. Turkey’s Gözde Sonsirma had an increased impact and produced a fine roll shot to deceive the Serbian side. Turkey eventually put a series of good attacks together and took the first set 25-20.

Turkey continued their good form and led 8-5 at the first technical time-out in the second set. Neriman Ozsoy began to have an impact and Turkey extended their lead to 17-7 as Darnel and Sonsirma continued to dominate at the net. Turkey took the ascendancy after scoring two points from lucky deflections of the Serbian side and they simultaneously grew in confidence. Serbia fell away and Turkey eased to an easy second-set win.

In the third set, Serbia started the stronger, with Brankica Mihajlovic supporting Brakocevic in the point-scoring department through some fine spiking. However, Serbia became sloppy and after leading 11-6, found themselves level at 13-13 after a top spike from the impressive Darnel. Serbia lost cohesion as their communication appeared to falter and Turkey edged towards victory. A misjudged spike from Jovana Vesovic sealed the win for Turkey.

It was a victory that Turkey will feel they deserved, having pushed China and Brazil unsuccessfully in their previous two matches. Neslihan Darnel and Gözde Sonsirma top scored for Turkey with 14 points apiece while Brankica Mihajlovic was the sole Serbian player in double digits at the end of the match (10).
Turkey, who have now won one and lost two of their three matches, face Korea on Friday, August 3. Korea beat Serbia on Monday. Serbia will play USA, who have won both of their matches so far in the tournament.

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