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11/01/2020 23:59
Germany and Turkey to clash for Tokyo 2020 visa
CEV Tokyo Volleyball European Qualification 2020 - Women

Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, January 11, 2020.  Germany will clash with Turkey in the final of the women’s continental Olympic qualifier in Apeldoorn on Sunday. The two sides are set to engage in the deciding battle for the single available Tokyo 2020 ticket, having already met on the first competition day of the pool stage with the Germans producing a 3-1 upset. In Saturday’s semifinals, Germany disappointed the home crowd with a straight-set win over the Netherlands, before Turkey outran Poland in an epic five-setter with Meryem Boz (pictured) piling up as many as 36 points to her name.

Semifinal: Germany vs. The Netherlands 3-0 (27-25, 25-23, 25-22)

Germany upset the Netherlands with a 3-0 (27-25, 25-23, 25-22) shutout in the first of two semifinals in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn.

German opposite Louisa Lippmann shone throughout the first set, chipping in a couple of aces towards a set total of nine points. Her team enjoyed the lead through the most part of the set, but the Netherlands managed to wipe out the four-point advantage the Germans had at 22-18 and push the set into overtime. On the third German set point, Lippmann attacked successfully for the 27-25 winner. With opposite Lonneke Sloetjes on the starting line-up for the second set and Floortje Meijners moving into an outside spiker position, the Netherlands piled up a solid lead, which reached six points at 15-9. On a couple of strong serving streaks by Lippmann and Hanna Orthmann, however, Germany not only caught up, but stepped up front and then kept pace through a 25-23 close, fixed on a spike by middle blocker Marie Schoelzel after an overhead pass from Denise Hanke.

Coach Felix Koslowski’s squad had the initiative in the third set, maintaining a lead of up to three points and allowing the Dutch to step ahead in the score momentarily only twice in the set, the second time after a four-point run for 20-19. Pulling off some fantastic saves in defence when it mattered the most, the Germans reached match point after Orthmann’s eighth successful spike in the set and, two rallies down the road, they were celebrating victorious with 25-22 win after Lippmann hit the last point, her 21st in the match. The Netherlands’ Nika Daalderop (15 points) and Germany’s Orthmann (14) came next on the scorers’ chart.

Semifinal: Poland vs. Turkey 2-3 (25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 31-33, 11-15)

Turkey will get a re-match with Germany in Sunday’s final of the European Olympic qualifier in Apeldoorn after an epic 3-2 (19-25, 25-18, 23-25, 33-31, 15-11) semifinal victory over Poland on Saturday. Turkish opposite Meryem Boz hammered out 36 points to top the charts, while captain Eda Erdem Dundar recorded 10 of the team’s 22 stuff blocks in the match. Outside spiker Magdalena Stysiak was most prolific on the Polish squad with 25 points to her name.

After 11-11 in the first set, Poland took control of the scoreboard for good. With Magdalena Stysiak contributing seven points in the set, the Poles widened the gap to a 25-19 finish as Natalia Medrzyk spiked successfully for the last point. Turkey could not hold on to the early 6-2 lead they piled up in the second set, but after 12-12, they broke away with six points in a row on Zehra Gunes’s serving and never looked back. The improved Turkish blocking contributed six points towards an emphatic 25-18 win, which levelled the match at one set each.

Turkey committed an increased number of unforced errors in the third set, while Poland stepped up their blocking effort. Coach Jacek Nawrocki’s squad managed to build up a six-point lead at 15-9 and 16-10, but their opponents immediately brought it back to within one on another serving streak by Gunes. In the money time, the Turks even took the lead at 20-19 and 21-20, but the Poles stepped up front again and a kill block by Malwina Smarzek-Godek delivered the set point. Two rallies later, at 25-23, they had the set in their pocket. Meryem Boz took charge in the epic fourth set, spearheading the Turkish offence on the way to an amazing 14-point individual tally. Turkey opened a gap as wide as 17-12, when Poland started their comeback to level the score at 19-19. They were the first to reach match point at 24-23, but failed to convert it, just as they did with the next four opportunities to win the game. On the other side, Turkey did not take advantage of the first three set points they had, but on the fourth, deep into overtime, Stysiak’s hit went long to prompt a tie-breaker after 33-31 in favour of Turkey.

The gap never exceeded one point through 9-9 in the fifth set when Turkey broke away with a 12-9 lead and cruised on to the victory. As if to crown their individual achievements in this epic match, Eda Erdem Dundar delivered the 14-11 match point with her 10th kill block of the day and Meryem Boz converted it to a 15-11 triumph with a spike for her 36th point of the game.

For further information, visit the official event website

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