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13/09/2015 22:10
Hungary’s women crowned European League champions after golden set win
2015 CEV Volleyball European League - Women

Izmir, Turkey, September 13, 2015. Hungary’s women upset a crowd of 4,100 as well as the local heroines of Turkey with their golden set win to claim a historic European League crown only two weeks away from their first appearance at a Final Round of the CEV Volleyball European Championship in 28 years. After claiming the home match with Turkey by 3:0, Hungary first lost the remake 1:3 (25-23, 21-25, 21-25, 18-25) but they regrouped in the golden set that followed (15-13) to celebrate their greatest Volleyball success in history.

After their 3:0 home win from Thursday night, Hungary needed ‘only’ two more sets to seize the crown of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European League – Women. The first set of the re-match played in Izmir was a very close affair right from the start as both teams seemed evidently eager to vie for gold. Turkey eventually moved to the front at the first technical time-out (8:7) but Hungary responded well claiming a three-point lead at the second mandatory break. The course of the match changed again as Turkey flipped the charts around to make it 20:17 in their favour and at this stage Hungary’s mentor Jan De Brandt called for a time-out. He got the desired effect as his players fought back with a lot of character and eventually won the first set by 25-23.

At this stage Hungary needed ‘only’ one more set to secure the European League crown and they kept on pressuring Turkey’s receivers thereby edging ahead at the first technical time-out of set 2 (8:5). Turkey did not stop fighting and stormed back to lead by the narrowest margin at the second mandatory break. As the actions resumed, both teams made a few errors but Turkey was able to move the score up to 20:17. Hungary levelled the count at 20 all but this time around the hosts were able to impose their rule in the crunch time where they showed excellent defence and killed a few mighty attacks to finish it off at 25-21 in their favour.

The fate of the game was re-opened but Hungary continued to play with impressive consistency leading by 8:5 as the actions were first stopped in the third stanza. The visitors kept that same margin also at the second technical time-out but yet again Turkey stormed back and an ace service by their young star Ceren Kestirengöz levelled the score at 19 all. Turkey eventually brought this set to an end at 25-21, recording three service aces and with their setter Ezgi Dilik scoring four points in this period.

Turkey imposed their rule right from the go of the fourth set with Dilik standing behind the serve line for six consecutive rallies. This resulted in an 8:2 lead for the hosts at the first technical time-out; Hungary’s coach asked for his second technical time-out shortly before the hosts moved the score to 16:9. Everything went just easy for Turkey who outclassed their opponents in every aspect of the game (22:10) and even though Hungary attempted a late comeback, the hosts brought the set to an end at 25-18 to call for the golden set. Turkey’s outstanding performance in this stanza was paced by Fatma Yildirim who scored eight points on her own and successfully concluded 57% of her attempts in attack.

The golden set that followed was an extremely tense and close affair, and teams changed sides of the court with Hungary having a two-point lead. Hungary’s coach stopped the game for a second time as Turkey had edged ahead at 10:9 on a service ace by their middle blocker Ayse Melis Gürkaynak. The score was levelled again at 13 all before Hungary cashed the two rallies that followed to claim the title of 2015 European League champions! Their superstar Renata Sandor finished the game as the most prolific scorer on 25 points and as a result she also received the award for the Most Valuable Player of the finals.

Hungary’s head coach Jan De Brandt: “I’m very happy to finish this long journey with a gold medal. This competition was extremely important for Hungary and for the future of our sport in this country. The match was extremely tense and unpredictable; it wasn’t a comfortable win as we fell back in some parts of the game, then got back on track before Turkey moved again to the front. Overall I’m pleased to go home with a first ever championship title for Hungary.”  

Hungary’s team captain Rita Liliom said: “I’m extremely proud of this win. It was an extremely tough match as we were playing against 4,000 spectators and the Turkish players were extremely powerful. Words cannot describe how happy and proud I am.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

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12/09/2015 15:22:00
Turkey and Hungary feel ready for re-match in European League Finals

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