Russia and Turkey score back-to-back triumphs in European Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament
Ankara, Turkey, January 5, 2016 – Russia and Turkey recorded second successive wins, while Belgium notched their first victory, on the second day of the European Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament at Baskent Volleyball Hall on Tuesday.
Kubra Akman scored eight blocks that solidified Turkey’s net defence in their 3-1 (27-25, 23-25, 25-16, 25-17) triumph over Germany in Pool A. Akman led the scoring pack with 18 points, Eda Erdem Dundar tallied 16 points, captain Neslihan Darnel Guler and Neriman Ozsoy notched 13 points apiece; while Margareta Kozuch was the lone double-digit scorer on the German side with 12 points.
Turkey and Germany opened the match with a heated showdown in the first two sets that resulted to close split victories. The home side won by a two-point margin 27-25 in the first set, then Germany retaliated in similar fashion 25-23 in the second set. Turkey regained control in the succeeding sets to warrant the 25-16 and 25-17 set-victories, which assured them of a semifinal berth.
Meanwhile, Russia’s towering tandem of Tatiana Kosheleva and Nataliya Obmochaeva spearheaded the 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21) win over Italy in Pool B. Kosheleva and Obmochaeva dominated all scorers with 20 and 18 points, respectively. Russia drew solid firepower from Obmochaeva, who drilled 15 attacks, while Kosheleva contributed 14 attack points.
Russia controlled the tempo in to gain victory in the first set 25-16. Italy endured a tough second set as they trailed Russia, but they managed to overturn the situation and equalise at 25-23. However, the Russians were more persistent than the Italians and protected their leads in the third and fourth sets.
Also in Pool B, Belgium gained their first victory 3-1 (25-19 16-25, 27-25, 25-18) at the expense of handing Poland its second straight loss in the tournament. Poland’s Anna Werblinska topscored with 16 points, but her efforts were in vain as the Belgian attackers produced balanced outputs from Laura Heyrman, Charlotte Leys and Freya Albrecht, who contributed nine points each.
Belgium played convincingly in the first set with a 25-19 win, but went through some rough patches in the next two sets – losing the second at 25-16 and escaping a tough 27-25 third set. The Belgians finally regained their rhythm and showed their best performance in the match to seize victory 25-18.
The action will continue on Wednesday, January 6, with Belgium facing Italy in Pool B at 14:30 local time, followed by Pool A matches between Germany and Croatia at 16:30, and hosts Turkey and Netherlands at 19:30.