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Turkey beat Belgium 3-1 to finish fourth

Turkey's Merve Dalbeler dives for the ball against Belgium
 Tokyo, Japan, August 24, 2014 – Turkey beat Belgium 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20) on the final day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Sunday.

Key points:

Neriman Ozsoy was the top scorer in the match with 32 points; Lise Van Hecke led Belgium with 21 points.

Turkey finished with a 2-3 record and seven points and finished fourth; Belgium were 0-5 for no points and finished sixth.

Turkey played 22 sets in their five matches – three of those matches were five-setters. The only team to beat them 3-0 was Japan.

Turkey beat defending champions Brazil in their first match.

Belgium had 10 service points to Turkey’s one. 

Neriman Ozsoy helped Turkey into an early lead at 4-1, but good blocks by Helene Rousseaux on Meliha Ismailoglu and Laura Heyrman on Ozsoy levelled the scores at 4-4. A super smash by Gozde Sonsirma and three Belgian errors saw the Turks four points ahead at the first technical timeout. But then Turkey made three errors and two service aces by Lise Van Hecke saw Belgium to an 11-10 lead. The two teams traded the lead, with Belgium ahead at 18-16 before Turkey responded with a hit by Ozsoy and blocks by Seda Tokatlioglu and Sonsirma, prompting Belgium coach Gert Vande Broek to call a timeout. Belgium came back through a pair of Van Hecke shots and a slick push to the right corner by Frauke Dirickx that put them 21-20 ahead and forced Turkey coach Massimo Barbolini to call his players off court. Turkey responded with a hit by Tokatlioglu, Els Vandessteene fired long and Bahar Toksoy blocked Van Hecke to give Turkey a 23-21 lead. Van Hecke hit wide for setpoint to Turkey and then it all fell apart for the Turks. Van Hecke spiked, Nina Coolman fired a service ace and Heyrman blocked Toksoy to level the scores at 24. Van Hecke then spiked for setpoint and Heyrman blocked Ozsoy to put Belgium 1-0 up, only their second set win in the Finals.

Ozsoy delivered three missiles in the early part of the second set but there was still little to choose between the two teams. The first two-point margin came at 11-9 after sloppy defence by Belgium, but it was all square two points later after a hit by Rousseaux and a service ace by Dirickx. Two Belgian errors and a block by Naz Aydemir saw the Turks go three points in front at 15-12. Vande Broek called a timeout after massive spikes by Ozsoy and Sonsirma gave the Turks a four-point lead at 18-14 and five points later Belgium were ahead 19-18 after a pair of spikes, a Turkish error, an ace by Charlotte Leys and a hit by Rousseaux. It was all-square at 20 at which point Belgium lost the plot. Ozsoy blocked Heyrman and the Belgians made three errors to make the score 24-20. After a hit by Rousseaux, Ozsoy pulled the Turks level with a crisp kill.

Ozsoy continued with her bombardment of the Belgians at the start of the third set, but Dirickx responded with a couple of clever shots and the Belgians were able to pull into a one-point lead at the first TTO. Two points later they were three points ahead and Barbolini called a timeout. His players responded with a four-point burst that had Vande Broek hauling his players off court. It was level at 14-14 after an ace by Dirickx and it was still all-square at 17, but poor reception by Coolman put the Turks in front and Ozsoy planted two piledrivers through Belgian defence to open up a three-point gap. It became a four-point gap at 23-19 after another reception error by Belgium, but the Belgians crept back to 23-22 after a lucky service ace from Ilka Van De Vijver and two Turkish errors. Sonsirma brought up setpoint before a shot by Coolman narrowed the gap to a point again (and injured Turkey’s Toksoy, who had to be helped off court). Ozsoy steadied Turkey’s nerves with a sharp smack and the Turks were 2-1 up. 

The first part of the fourth set was dominated by errors from both sides – nine in total – and there was nothing to choose between the two teams through 8-8 when Leys came up with a couple of decent hits and Heyrman blocked Sonsirma to put Belgium 11-8 up. Barbolini called a timeout after a long shot from Kubra Akman gave Belgium a 14-10 lead and his players roared back thanks to two good plays by Ozsoy and successive blocks by Sonsirma. A thunderbolt from Ozsoy gave the Turks a one-point lead at the second TTO and they followed up with a shot from Sonsirma and a lovely tipover from Tokatlioglu for an 18-15 lead. Belgium’s resistance seemed to crumble as they fell 22-16 behind. Ismailogul blocked a tip by Leys for matchpoint at 24-18 and after a couple of Belgian points, the game ended on another error.


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