June 2, 2023

KARAKURT – Türkiye moved closer to the second phase of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship thanks to a stellar performance by star opposite Ebrar Karakurt. The Europeans prevailed over the Dominican Republic in a nail-biting match on Wednesday in Gdansk, Poland, to claim their second victory in the tournament. The Dominican Republic is currently in third place in the competition.

After trailing the Caribbeans in the opening set, Türkiye rallied to win the match, but they still had to win in a tiebreaker (21-25, 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 15-13) in order to claim victory in their third Pool B encounter. The contest lasted for more than two hours.

The Europeans currently have six points after the thrilling triumph; in their first match, they were defeated by Thailand, but in their second encounter, they prevailed over Korea. They are almost at the end of the first phase, which will determine which four teams from their pool will advance to the next round.

The Dominicans, who started the tournament with wins over Korea and Croatia, maintain their lead over the Europeans with seven points. They will have a chance to advance to the second phase of the competition later on Wednesday if the hosts Poland beat Korea by a score of 3-0 or 3-1 in their matchup, which will take place at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT).

Karakurt, who is only 22 years old and is competing in her second World Championship, lead all scorers with an astounding 29 points (28 kills, one block). The opposing player from Turkey scored all eight of her points in the tie-breaker, including the game-winning point, on a spike that was initially ruled out. However, the call was overturned after the Europeans submitted a challenge, which showed that the Dominican block had made a slight contact with the ball.

Karakurt’s response was, “I’m proud of my teammates and our coaching staff for believing we could win this match the entire time, and I’m happy of them for fighting till the very end.” It was a decisive match for us in our pool, and I believe that as a result, we now have a solid opportunity to finish in one of the top two slots.

No matter what happens, we have to come out on top against Croatia, and against Poland, where they’ll have the advantage of playing in their own stadium. I’m pleased with how well I did as an individual, but I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team. I really hope that I’ll be able to keep playing at this level.”

In addition to Karakurt, head coach Giovanni Guidetti was pleased with the play of middle blocker Zehra Gunes, who had a match-high five blocks in addition to her six kills, and outside hitter Hande Baladin, who exited the court with ten points (eight kills, one block, and one ace), the same number as team captain Eda Erdem. Karakurt led the team in kills.

Both Gaila Gonzalez and Brayelin Martinez contributed 20 points to the Dominican Republic’s offense. The opposite player registered 16 kills, two blocks, and two aces, while the outside hitter recorded 18 kills, one block, and one ace. Both Yonkaira Pena and Bethania De La Cruz, who played in the outside hitting positions, left the court having scored nine and eight points, respectively.

On Thursday, both teams will be back in action on the court in Gdansk, with the Turks playing against Croatia at 17.30 local time (15.30 GMT) and the Dominicans playing against Poland, the tournament hosts, at 20.30 local time (18.30 GMT). At the Ergo Arena, the day will kick off at 14:00 local time, which is 12:00 GMT, with a matchup between two of Asia’s fiercest competitors, Korea and Thailand.

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