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NEWS

China come back to win five-set thriller against Turkey

 
China captain Zeng Chunlei attacks against Turkey
 
 Tokyo, Japan, August 23, 2014 – China beat Turkey 3-2 (25-22, 18-25, 22-25, 25-23, 21-19) on the fourth day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Saturday.

Key points:

Neriman Ozsoy was the top scorer in the match with 36 points; Liu Xiaotong led China with 26. Yuan Xinyue scored all six of China's service points.

China improved their record to 2-2; Turkey dropped to 1-3. 

China lead Turkey 2-1 matchups in the World Grand Prix. 

It was the first time the two teams had met outside China.

It’s the first time Turkey have lost three consecutive World Grand Prix matches since 2008. 

It was Turkey’s third five-set match out of four in the Finals. 



China started off with a block by Li Jing on Kubra Akman and good hitting by captain Zeng Chunlei and Liu Xiaotong helped the Chinese to an 8-3 advantage at the first technical timeout. Turkey coach Massimo Barbolini called a timeout one point later after a smash from Zeng, but the Chinese stayed on top despite some nice spikes by Neriman Ozsoy. China coach Lang Ping called a timeout after some great defending by Turkey frustrated China at 13-9 and the Chinese seemed to be on track after an ace by Yuan Xinyue put them 15-10 ahead. But three poor errors by China saw Turkey close to 15-14 and they were level at 16 after some more good Turkish defending. China went ahead for good after a push shot from Liu and a Turkish error made the score 21-19. Three super smashes from Zeng ensured China would not be overtaken.

Turkey started the second set with determination and were helped by good blocking and some poor Chinese reception, but they also hurt themselves with errors and the scores stayed close early on. It was a one-point game in China’s favour at the first TTO and a one-point game in Turkey’s favour at the second. Turkey didn’t help their cause with service errors, but they were playing the steadier volleyball. The breakthrough came at 18-18 when Zeng served long and Busra Cansu spiked the score to 20-18. Turkey then got a break when they overturned a line call after a shot by Gozde Sonsirma, and a block on Li put them four points up. A Cansu spike brought setpoint and a reception error by Li completed a seven-point run by the Turks that levelled the scores at 1-1.

Ozsoy gave Turkey a good start to the third set, while China continued to have problems, gifting four points to the Turks who led by four at the first TTO. Bahar Toksoy came up with a couple of hits, while her teammate Cansu added two of her own plus a pair of great blocks on Zeng as Turkey led by five at the second TTO. But when Turkey failed to return three serves by Yuan Xinyue, China were able to level the scores at 17. Another point earned by a video challenge – for an error at the net by China – saw Turkey move to 20-18 and they were able to hold off the Chinese, who ended the set with another error at the net.

It was tight at the start of the fourth set, with Yuan getting a good block on Ozsoy but the Turk responding with two good hits as her team moved into a two-point lead at the first TTO. Yuan responded with a spike and a service ace – her fifth of the match – to level the scores at 8-8 and a spike and block by Liu put China two points in front at 12-10, prompting Barbolini to call a timeout. Despite yet another block by Cansu on Zeng, the Chinese were able to hold on to their two-point lead at the second TTO. A netted serve by Cansu and a neatly placed shot by Liu gave China a four-point cushion at 20-16, but Turkey kept fighting, with libero Gizem Karadayi outstanding in defence. Turkey pulled back from 20-23 to 23-23 after another reception error by China, but a big hit by Liu and a block on Ozsoy sent the match to a tiebreaker.

Two spiking misses by China early in the fifth set gave Turkey a two-point advantage at 4-2 and they were then helped by a rotation error. China closed to within a point but more sloppy play put Turkey in the driving seat and they were four points up at the changeover. Cansu sent another serve into the net, Yang Junjing blocked Sonsirma and Turkey failed to return two more of Yuan’s serves and China were level at 9-9. Li put China ahead 11-10 with a kill before Ozsoy sent a shot wide. Yang then blocked Sonsirma and China were two points from victory. China allowed Turkey to close to 13-12 when another reception error – this time by Shan Danna – drew the scores level. China saved four matchpoints and Turkey two. At 19-19, Yuan slammed a ball from a short set for another matchpoint and captain Zeng finished things off with a strong hit.





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