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06/10/2017 16:54
Turkey captain Eda Erdem Dündar pleased with #EuroVolleyW bronze medal
2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women

Istanbul, Turkey, October 6, 2017. Turkey had a rough start to the 2017 women’s EuroVolley – losing to Russia and Bulgaria in the pool stage before claiming a do-or-die bout with Ukraine. They pulled out their best performance when thrashing Russia 3-0 in the quarterfinals, and they eventually settled for the bronze medal after edging hosts Azerbaijan in the ‘small final’. Their team captain Eda Erdem Dündar played a leading role in Turkey’s success in Baku and she eventually featured in the Dream Team of the tournament as one of two middle blockers.

“The 2017 European Championship was a highly competitive and very well organised tournament compared to the many competitions I have attended throughout my career,” Eda recounts. “As a result of the Drawing of Lots, we started the tournament on the second competition day and played our first two games with Russia and Bulgaria. After losing these two matches, losing a third one would have meant we had to say goodbye to the tournament, but we played Ukraine, Poland and Russia with much concentration and commitment. After beating Russia, we knew we were in contention for a medal,” she continues.

Turkey lost in three sets to eventual gold medal winners Serbia in the semis. “As Serbia played against us their best match of the tournament, we could not keep their pace and we had to be content to play for third place. Azerbaijan, who played a 5-set match against the Netherlands the day before and suffered a heart-breaking loss, wanted to win a medal at home – but they could not show much resistance when playing against us,” the middle blocker adds.

Eda is visibly happy with the third place – the second such a result for Turkey after their team had finished third in 2011 as well. “Serbia and the Netherlands deserved to play the final and they deserve to be where they stand at the moment because they played a great tournament. As we did in 2011 already, we once again showed that we have the potential to become European champions. I believe that we can improve on this result for the next edition of the European Championship – by adding new, young players to the group and taking our game to the next level,” she says.

“I will only keep good memories from this championship since it finished with a medal and an individual award for me. However, individual prizes are making the recipient happy only when the whole team is standing on the podium as well,” Eda stresses. “Finally, thanks to our friends living in Azerbaijan, we felt at home in Baku and many thanks to all those who supported us.”

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