VNL 2024 - News

Türkiye (TUR) vs. Italy (ITA) women - Quarterfinals #5821563

A flawless performance against Italy took Türkiye to their fifth-straight VNL semifinals

Türkiye are set to become the only women’s national team to appear in the semifinals of each of the five editions of the Volleyball Nations League after the Europeans surpassed the quarterfinal round again in 2023 on Thursday, in Arlington, the United States.

Ranked sixth in the FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Ranking, the Turkish knocked out defending champions Italy with an emphatic 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-18) victory at the College Park Center and secured the last spot in play in the semifinals of the event.

  • Watch Volleyball Nations League 2023 Finals live on VBTV

Tükiye will now play hosts the United States on Saturday, at 19:30 local time (00:30 UTC), in one of the semifinals. The other duel, set to begin at 16:00 local time (21:00 UTC) on the same day, will reunite Poland and China. The medal matches will be played on Sunday.

Heading into their fifth VNL semifinal, the team coached by Daniele Santarelli will be looking for its third medal in the tournament in Arlington – the Europeans took silver in 2018 and bronze in 2021.

Türkiye had opposites Melissa Vargas and Ebrar Karakurt (playing as outside hitter) together on the court and the new playing system worked well, with the two combining for 24 points. VNL rookie Vargas led all scorers with 16 points (14 kills, one ace, one block), while Karakurt adjusted well to the new role, adding another eight, with seven kills and one block.

“I’m really proud of my team, we did a great job today,” Karakurt reacted. “We worked very well against a really strong team and it’s good to start the Finals with a 3-0 win. But we want to be the champions and we have two more matches. We know our entire country is behind us and we want to thank them for their support.”

The winners also had strong performances from their middles, with captain Eda Erdem producing 11 points (six kills, five blocks) and Zehra Gunes contributing ten, with two kills, two aces and six blocks.

Türkiye (TUR) vs. Italy (ITA) women - Quarterfinals #5821550

Vargas was unstoppable at the net, leaving the court with 16 points

Outside hitter Francesca Villani was the Italian leading scorer, with 11 points (nine kills, two aces) registered. Opposite Sylvia Nwakalor also got to double digits in scoring, leaving the court with ten points (eight kills, two blocks).

Besides playing nearly a flawless match, with just nine errors (against 19 of the Italians), the Turkish also dominated the game at the net, winning the duels in kills (37 to 34) and blocks (16 to six). Italy had a slim edge in aces, getting four to Türkiye’s three.

**Volleyball Nations League 2023: full schedule and results**

China also advanced to the semifinals of the VNL 2023 on Thursday, overcoming Brazil 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23) in a match played earlier in the day in Arlington.

The first two quarterfinal encounters were held on Wednesday, with Poland defeating Germany 3-1 (25-12, 21-25, 25-21, 26-24) and the United States overcoming Japan also in four sets (25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18).

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