USA Sweeps Turkey En Route To The Semifinals
At the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship, the USA have advanced to the semifinals for the second time.
The champions of the tournament in 2014 made it to the final four of this year’s competition, which took place on Tuesday in Gliwice, Poland, despite though they only placed fifth in the 2018 competition.
The defending Olympic champions demonstrated their dominance in the quarterfinals by sweeping Türkiye 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-20) to advance further in the competition. This came after they won seven of their nine matches in the previous two phases of the tournament.
The Americans have already won gold in 2014, silver in 1967 and 2002, and bronze in 1982 and 1990. With their victory in the quarterfinals, they are now just one win away from claiming their sixth medal overall at the World Championships.
The American offense was led by outside hitter Alexandra ‘Ali’ Frantti against the Turkish, and she finished the match with 18 points, which was the most of either team. Frantti, who is 26 years old, had 15 kills, one block, and two aces, and she had an efficiency rate of 42.31% when she hit the ball.
Annie Drews, who plays opposite, contributed another 14, and she also had 11 kills and three blocks. Meanwhile, Kelsey Robinson Cook, who plays outside hitter and is also the team captain, reached double figures with ten points (nine kills, one block).
Robinson Cook made the remark that “we have everybody working towards a shared goal, and everybody showed up today with eyes set on the gameplan,” and he said that. “I have a lot of pride for the girls. It is always very difficult to compete against Türkiye because they have fantastic players and one of the top coaches in the world. It is never simple, but I’m delighted that we managed to pull it off.
Türkiye’s Star opposite Ebrar Karakurt finished the game with 16 points, making him the team’s highest scorer (13 kills, three blocks). Zehra Gunes, who plays in the middle, racked up 11 points thanks to her eight kills and three blocks on her own.
Despite having a better performance in blocks (12 to 9) and aces (four to zero) and benefiting from more opponent errors (14 to 13), the American victory was primarily built on the team’s strong offense, which produced 44 kills as opposed to 35 for the Turkish squad. Despite these advantages, the American victory was primarily built on the team’s strong offense.
The Americans got off to a solid start in the match, scoring four of the first five points thanks to an ace from Frantti and a pair of blocks in a row to start the contest by themselves. The match is now knotted at 10-10 thanks to a monster block and a kill from Karakurt, as well as a block from Gunes.
Hande Baladin’s two blocks helped the Turkish side take the lead and immediately build a two-point advantage at 13-11, but the Americans rallied back and evened the score at 16 points. The Americans regained the lead and quickly created a two-point advantage at 13-11. At the score of 19-17, the Olympic champions were able to force a timeout from the Turkish team thanks to a kill from Frantti and an ace from Haleigh Washington. The USA won the set 25-22 thanks to a kill by Robinson Cook after Turkey committed a string of errors throughout the match.
The second set got off to a strong start for Türkiye, who quickly went up 3-0 thanks to a block by Karakurt. However, the American team rallied back and evened the score at 3-3 with a kill from Chiaka Ogbogu, which meant that the European lead was quickly neutralized by the USA. After a block by Frantti, the reigning Olympic winners took a two-point lead, 9-7, and never looked back after that.
The Americans were able to maintain their lead until the very end of the set, and they even managed to increase it before taking the set and the match with a 25-15 victory thanks to an attacking blunder committed by Karakurt. This was despite the fact that Turkey had some bright moments during the set.
At the beginning of the third set, the USA maintained their momentum and built a comfortable lead of 10-5 as Frantti had a string of kills. The Americans kept their offensive efficiency and increased their advantage to 18-11 when Robinson Cook stopped Karakurt to conclude the set at 25-20 and the match in favor of the Olympic champions. The Americans went on to win the match and take home the gold medal.
Italy, the reigning champions of both the Volleyball Nations League and Europe, also secured a spot in the semifinals of the competition. In the quarterfinal clash that took place in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, the team that is now atop the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Ranking prevailed against China 3-1 (25-16, 25-22, 13-25, 25-17).
Later on Tuesday, there will be two more matches that are part of the quarterfinals. In Apeldoorn, the match between Brazil and Japan will begin at 20:00 local time, which is equivalent to 18:00 GMT. In Gliwice, the championship match between the defending champions Serbia and the hosts Poland will begin in thirty minutes.
The Americans will play either Serbia or Poland on Wednesday to determine who they will play in the other semifinal, while the Italians will play the winner of the match between the Brazilians and the Japanese on Thursday.
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