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VOLLEYBALL >Turkish women claim silver at U-23 world champs

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Turkey’s U-23 women’s national team lost 3-1 to Brazil in the final of the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U-23 World Championship on Aug. 19, settling for silver on home court.

Brazil proved too strong for their hosts, ultimately cruising to victory 25-21, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22 in the gold-medal clash played at a sold-out Başkent Volleyball Hall in Ankara.

Brazil’s captain, Rosamaria, led by example, finishing with the most points for the champions with 17, while Kübra Akman finished with 16 kills for the runners-up. The South Americans had the edge in blocking and serving, handing Turkey its first defeat of the tournament.

“I want to congratulate all my players for their performance during the whole championship,” Turkey coach Ferhat Akbaş said after the final.

“We finished second and earned an important success. We could have won the championship, but there is also a chance factor in our sport. But my team fought till the end. Congratulations to them,” he added.

Turkish captain Ezgi Dağdelenler noted the stress of playing the final on home court. “It was a great tournament for us; we played great matches,” she said. “Our nerves kicked in today in front of our own spectators.”

Brazil coach Wagner Coppini said the final was a “great battle.” “We respect the Turkish team; they have a great coach and team. It was a great battle because we played like the real Brazil today unlike our first encounter versus the hosts. I’m proud of my players and their true team spirit.” 

Akman was voted the best middle blocker of the tournament, while teammate Gizem Örge was voted best libero.

The Dominican Republic finished the tournament on a high note as well. The team of coach Wagner Pacheco came back from behind to overpower Japan 3-2 (21-25, 17-25, 25-21, 25-16, 15-11) in the bronze-medal match to conclude its 2015 campaign on the podium. It was the second medal for the Caribbeans after their second place in 2013. 

Isabel Pena completed the bronze-medal clash with a match-high 23 points. Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez added 22 kills for the Dominican Republic. Japan’s top scorer was Yuka Imamura with 17 points.

August/20/2015

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