Turkiye is eying its first Women’s European Volleyball title after beating the current European champions Italy in the semi-final and confirm its place in the final against Serbia on Sunday.
The Sultans were up against a strong Italian side with many of the players, which had helped it lift the trophy two years ago. Both teams had topped their respective qualifying groups for the 2023 Euros, with Italy winning five out of five in Pool B, a feat matched by Turkiye in Pool C.
Italy then beat both Spain and France 3-0 on its way to the semis, while Turkiye triumphed against Belgian (3-1) and Poland (3-0) to set up their semi-final match in Brussels on Friday.
It was a pulsating game from start to finish, with the Italians leading in the early sets, but the reigning champions faltered at key moments, allowing their opponents to take full advantage. It ended with a 3-2 win to Turkiye (18-25, 25-23, 15-25, 25-22, 15-6).
Melisa Vargas was the standout player for the Turkish national side and the game’s joint highest scorer, along with Italy’s Paola Egonu, both on 25 points. Ebrar Karakurt also added to the tally with an impressive 18 points for Turkiye. Click here to watch highlights of the Turkiye v Italy semi-final.
Turkiye’s Sultans of the Net now face World Champions Serbia in the CEV Final of the 2023 Women’s European Volleyball Championship. The game will be played at the Palais 12 indoor arena in Brussels on Sunday evening in front of an expected 8,600 capacity audience.
Serbia have had a comfortable journey to the final. They topped their Pool A group, before proceeding to beat Sweden, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands in the knockout stages to book a date against Turkiye for the European crown.
Sunday’s final starts at 8pm Central European Time. You can subscribe to CEV for €5.99 to watch the game live – click here for details.