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Russia win marathon match against Turkey

Meliha Ismailoglu of Turkey attacks against Russia’s Tatiana Kosheleva (15) and Iuliya Podskalnaya on Friday
Tokyo, Japan, August 22, 2014 – Russia beat Turkey 3-2 (25-22, 26-24, 13-25, 25-27, 15-12) in a marathon match on the third day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Friday. The match lasted two hours and 45 minutes and saw many video challenges.

Key points:

Russia improved to 2-1; Turkey fell to 1-2.

Gozde Sonsirma was the top scorer in the match with 29 points; Russia were led by Tatiana Kosheleva with 26 points.

It was their third meeting in the World Grand Prix, with all three matches taking place this season. Turkey won the first 3-2 and Russia the second 3-1.
Turkey started their Finals campaign with a win over reigning champions Brazil 3-2 before losing 3-0 to hosts Japan. 

Russia started the Finals with a 3-1 defeat against Japan, followed by a straight-sets victory against Belgium. 

Russia have won five of their last six World Grand Prix matches.

Tatiana Kosheleva got Russia moving in the right direction early on with a block and two kills and the Russians were helped by two service reception errors by Turkey, whose coach, Massimo Barbolini, called his players off court with the score at 2-6. Things didn’t get better for the Turks. After successive blocks – Irina Fetisova on Gozde Sonsirma and Iana Shcherban on Meliha Ismailoglu – Barbolini hauled his players off court again. A seven-point run by Russia ended at 13-3 when Sonsirma finally found her range with a hefty kill. That spurred a five-point recovery by Turkey that included three successive blocks – Sonsirma stopping Natalia Malykh twice and Naz Aydemir then blocking Kosheleva. Sonsirma then spurred another mini-run and Turkey closed to within two points at 15-13. With the Russians ahead 17-13, the Turks were upset with a refereeing decision that saw a point replayed and Russia took advantage to extend their lead, with Kosheleva sending down four big spikes as they reached set point at 24-19. Three straight points by Sonsirma gave Turkey hope, but Malykh smashed a high ball into the opposite court to put Russia 1-0 up. Kosheleva scored nine points in the set.

Turkey came out fighting in the second set and went on a five-point run that included a good block by Bahar Toksoy on Irina Fetisova and two points that came as a result of Russian service reception errors. Turkey led 8-5 at the first technical timeout and were still three points ahead at the second after four good points from Neriman Ozsoy. After a block by Kubra Akman on Kosheleva, Turkey had an 18-14 lead, but Nataliya Goncharova started a Russia comeback with two good shots and the scores were level at 18. Turkey saved one setpoint before Goncharova come up with two more scores to put Russia 2-0 ahead. 

Turkey had another good start in the third set as Russia went off the boil. Toksoy came up with a nice kill and a block on Kosheleva as the Turks went into the first break 8-4 ahead. Poor Russian reception and good Turkish defending saw the Turks surge ahead 14-6, when Russia coach Yury Marichev called a timeout. Marichev earned a yellow card after a challenge overturned a Russian point at 17-10, but his team had lost their way and Turkey cruised to a 12-point victory in the set.   

Russia came alive again at the start of the fourth set with three good points from Malykh as they moved into a 6-3 lead, but two Turkish blocks and an ace by Meliha Ismailoglu saw the Turks one point ahead at the first TTO. Turkey increased their lead to three points at the second TTO forcing Russia to play catch-up, but with Russia inconsistent, a comeback didn’t look likely. But then Turkey lost their rhythm and allowed Russia to close to within a point at 22-21. Turkey earned two set points on a spike by Ismailoglu, but Russia got a good block from Malykh and a big shot from Kosheleva to even the score at 24-24. A big smash from Malykh saved another set point but Turkey converted the fourth when Akman blocked Kosheleva, sending the match to a tiebreaker. 

Turkey moved into a quick lead in the fifth set and were helped by a successful challenge on a shot by Ismailoglu. She then blocked Iana Shcherban and Turkey were 6-2 up. Barbolini called a timeout after Russia reduced the deficit to two points and Turkey held on for a while, but Russia were level at 8-8. Akman then came up with two huge points – a classy kill and a block on Kosheleva – before Russia turned the tables on the Turks with four straight points. Sonsirma’s next spike was challenged and caused a long delay as the officials decided the outcome. Sonsirma earned a yellow card but was penalised for an attack-line fault, giving Russia a 13-10 lead. Turkey took the next two points before Sonsirma sent a shot wide to hand Russia match point. Shcherban then fired the ball over to end the match.


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