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31/05/2015 19:21
Turkey claim gold at 30th edition of Montreux Volley Masters
2015 Montreux Volley Masters

Montreux, Switzerland, May 31, 2015. Coming back from two sets down, Turkey overpowered Japan to claim the gold medal of the 30th edition of the Montreux Volley Masters. In a spectacular 139-minute battle, the team of coach Ferhat Akbas proved too strong for their Asian opponents (22-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-10). It is Turkey’s first triumph in Montreux after their sixth place in 2007. In the battle for bronze, the Netherlands outclassed Russia in straight sets (25-21, 25-21, 25-21).

Turkey displayed a better offense (59 to 46 successful spikes) and had the edge in blocking (21 to 6). Best scorers of the breath-taking gold medal clash were Polen Uslupehlivan (26) for the young Turks and Saori Kimura (15 points) for Japan.

There was not much to separate the two teams in the early stages of the much-awaited gold medal battle at Pierrier sports hall. In front of 1,800 thrilled fans, the two teams remained head-to-head until 12:12, before the Japanese opened the gap to three points at the second technical time-out. The Turks did their utmost to bounce back, but eventually could not cope with the quick Asian offensive game. A blistering Yuki Ishii’s smash ended the first set 25-22 in Japan’s favour. With 15-11 winners in attack, the Japanese kept the upper hand at the net in the first period.

The Asians continued in their winning spirit in the early stages of the second set. The team of head coach Masayoshi Manabe led by three points at the first technical break. The Turks, however, fought back bravely to reduce the gap to one point at 11:12. The Europeans had an advantage in terms of height, whilst the ladies from the Land of the Rising Sun delighted the fans with outstanding agility and speed. With team captain Saori Kimura replacing the injured Yukiko Ebata in the middle of the second set, the Japanese increased their power to cruise to an unquestionable set win. Sarina Koga closed it out for the Asians with an ace at 25-19.

With six consecutive points from 9:10 to 15:10, the Turks came back muscularly in the middle of the third set. It was one of the turning points of the match. The Europeans showed strong determination, willing to turn the tables in this hardly fought gold medal clash. Turkey head coach Ferhat Akbas had sent Polen Uslupehlivan back to the court and replaced middle blocker Gözde Yilmaz with Asli Kalac. It apparently helped as the Turks continued their run until the end of the third set (25-19).

It was only the beginning of a remarkable comeback for the Turkish team. Even though Japan led 4:1 and 13:11 in the fourth set, the Turks never gave in to bounce back to a 16:14 lead at the second technical time-out. Japan did their best to turn the tables, but it was already too late. The Turks kept the upper hand and never looked back until 25-23.

The magic comeback of the Turks shattered the Japanese hopes for their second title in Montreux. Turkey displayed an outstanding power in this gold medal clash and seemed almost unstoppable. Japan reduced the gap from five to two points at 9:11 in the fifth and deciding set, but could not prevent the Europeans from claiming their first title at the Montreux Volley Masters. At 14:10 for Turkey, Sarina Koga sent the Mikasa long to bounce the Turks in heaven.

Earlier on Sunday, Giovanni Guidetti’s “Oranje Leeuwinnen” rolled over Russia in the bronze medal game. The team from the Netherlands could count on a superb performance by their spikers Lonneke Slöetjes and Anne Buijs. The Russians, on the other hand, weren’t able to perform their famous and feared blocking game. As a consequence, the “Oranje” swept the European champs 3:0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21) to claim the bronze medal at the Montreux Volley Masters 2015.

Individual Awards

MVP: Yuki Ishii (JPN)
Best Outside Spikers: Yuki Ishii (JPN), Anne Buijs (NED)
Best Middle Blockers: Yvon Belien (NED), Büsra Cansu (TUR)
Best Libero: Kotoki Zayasu (JPN)
Best Setter: Naz Aydemir Akyol (TUR)
Best Opposite: Lonneke Slöetjes (NED)

Final Ranking

1. Turkey
2. Japan
3. The Netherlands
4. Russia
5. Germany
5. Italy
7. China
7. Dominican Republic

For further information visit

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Oranjes qualify for EuroVolley Final Round, home party in Doetinchem
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