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04/01/2014 20:00
Turkey and Romania to battle for World Champs ticket in Ankara
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Women

Ankara, Turkey, January 4, 2014. Turkey and Romania will play for first place in Pool I on Sunday after these sides edged Ukraine and Cyprus respectively on the second day of the World Champs qualifier in Ankara. The home heroines of Turkey scored on Saturday their second straight victory at the Baskent Volleyball Hall as they beat Ukraine in straight sets (25-7, 25-12, and 25-21) in 62 minutes of play to re-assert their ambition to make the Final Round of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship. Romania also claimed their second win as they easily got past Cyprus in straight sets as well (25-15, 25-17, and 25-9).  
The home side was paced by Neriman Özsoy and Eda Erdem Dündar who scored 14 points apiece in their winning effort versus Ukraine.
Turkey started out strong with Ukraine’s head coach asking for an early time-out as his side was trailing 1:6. Turkey did not lose composure after the break and widened their lead to 16:6 at the second technical time-out. After that Ukraine was able to score only one more point up to the end of the set (25-7). Turkey dictated the tempo of the game also in the second set (5:2) before Ukraine fought back to draw level at 7. Turkey scored the next point to call for the first mandatory stop and after that broke away in the score (21:11) cruising to a speedy 25-12 to make it 2:0 in sets. Things changed completely in the third set where the guests from Ukraine opened with an 8-2 run; Turkey clawed back and eventually leveled the score at 14 all with their superstar Neslihan Demir (Darnel) serving strong and attacking with good efficiency. After the second technical time-out the hosts controlled the operations and they cruised to a well-deserved straight victory (25-21) to keep an immaculate record in the tournament.  
“This match was much tougher than the one we played yesterday with Cyprus” said head coach Massimo Barbolini. “We played much better in the first and second sets than we did in the third. My players were mentally strong and won a tough game. Tomorrow we have to beat Romania to qualify to the World Championship.”
“Our fans here are just amazing” said Turkey’s team captain Neslihan Demir. “I want to thank them all for being with us today. We only have another game and I hope we are going to make it to the World Champs in Italy” she concluded.

In the other match of the day Romania beat Cyprus in straight sets (25-15, 25-17, and 25-9) to claim their second victory in the tournament and on Sunday will play Turkey for first place in the Pool and a ticket to the 2014 Worlds. Ioana Baciu paced the winning side with 14 points.
The teams played point for point up to 7 all in the first set before Cyprus surprisingly got the lead at the first technical time-out (8:7). However, the Romanian players drew level straight after the break and from there moved the score up to 17:11 before pocketing the set with the score of 25-15. Romania was off to a good start in the second set (5:1) and they slowly but surely widened their lead (20:13) to wrap it up at 25-17. The third set was literally one-sided with Romania leading the way 8:3 at the first technical time-out, before the players around head coach Guillermo Gallardo cruised to an impressive 25-9 to seal their straight victory.
“It was very important for us to win tonight” Gallardo said. “We played good and it is also good that we did not lose any set. Tomorrow we have a very difficult game with Turkey. We did what we had to today and now we will get ready for the next match.”
“I think we played better than we did yesterday with Turkey and we shall not forget that we came here with the youngest team in the Pool” commented Cyprus head coach Petros Patsias. “My players are all students. I am happy with what my team did tonight. This is a group with good perspectives and that will perform better in the future. Some injured players have stayed at home. I want to thank all of my players for their good effort tonight.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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