Turkey defeats Germany, moves on to semifinals of Olympic qualifiers
Turkish players celebrate during the volleyball qualifying match against Germany in Ankara. (PHOTO TODAY’S ZAMAN)
Turkey defeated Germany 3-1 on Thursday in Ankara and will compete in the European women’s volleyball qualifying semifinals for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Turkey competed against Germany on Thursday night in its third and final match in Group A, from which it takes first place. Turkey’s defeats of Croatia on Wednesday and Bulgaria on Tuesday secured it a spot in the semi-finals.
In what was expected to be a very tough match-up, Turkey’s Sultans of the Net fell behind their German opponents 8-4 at the first technical time out. Germany, which continued its lead, won the first set 25-18. Turkey came back stronger in the second set, winning 25-16 and tying with Germany 1-1.
The Sultans of the Net continued their impressive performance in the third set, leading 8-3 at the first technical break. But Germany recovered in the second part of the set, increasing its defense’s resistance. After Turkey fell behind 20-17, Turkey’s National Team head coach Marco Motta called a timeout. Though Germany picked up a few more points, Turkey was victorious in the third set 25-23.
The fourth set was both exciting and frustrating for Turkey’s fans, but the Sultans of the Net were able to squeak by Germany 30-28 and win the game 3-1. Turkey will compete in the qualifiers’ semi-finals on May 5.
In Thursday’s other matches, Bulgaria won against Croatia 3-0 in Group A and Russia defeated Serbia 3-1 in Group B.
The six-day volleyball qualifiers for the Olympic Games, which will be held between July 27 and Aug. 12 in London, kicked off on April 30, with eight teams vying for first place. Turkey, Russia, Serbia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia and Bulgaria are competing in the qualifiers for the Olympic Games.