Ankara, Turkey, August 19, 2015 – Brazil are the new women’s U23 world champions! In front of 7’600 thrilled fans at sold-out Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara, the South Americans overpowered hosts Turkey 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22) to claim gold at 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship. It was Turkey’s first defeat in the tournament. 22 block winners were the key for Brazil’s triumph.
Best scorers of Wednesday’s gold medal clash were captain Rosamaria for Brazil with 17 points and Kubra Akman for Turkey with 16 kills. The South Americans had the edge in blocking (22-9) and serving (7-6).
Hosts Turkey rapidly took command of the gold medal duel forcing Brazil coach Wagner Coppini calling his ladies of court at 3-6. The local heroines extended their lead to four points at the second technical timeout. The South Americans – however – bounced back strongly to turn the tables at 21-19 after six consecutive serves of setter Juma Silva. Brazil’s Gabi brought up set point with a spectacular block on Hande Baladin and ended it – again – with another impressive block winner to make it 25-21 for the yellow-and-greens. Eight block kills were one of the reasons for Brazil’s 1-0 set lead.
It remained a tough battle in the early stages of the second set. Turkey were up 10-6 before the South Americans came back to equalize at 10-10. The Europeans regained momentum at the second technical timeout (16-13). Middle-blocker Kubra Akman (ten points in the first two sets) was the leading force for the hosts. Turkey kept the upper hand until 22-19 before the Brazilians bounced back again to reduce the gap to one point. Nevertheless, the Turks kept calm to close the second set out at 25-21.
Although the Brazilian blockers had done an excellent job in the first two sets (13 winners), the Turks had improved their offense as well. With 16 successful spikes in the second period, the team of coach Akbas Ferhat had regained momentum. Still, it remained a close affair. Brazil experienced the better start and gradually stretched their lead towards the crucial moments of the third set. Drussyla brought up set point at 24-19 with a huge winner from back row and Gabi closed it out for Brazil one rally later.
Turkey tried their best to make a comeback in the fourth set, but Brazil was just too good. The South Americans quickly rushed to a 14-6 lead. Captain Rosamaria finished the gold medal clash with a winner from the left side to make it 25-22 and 3-1 for the new champions from Brazil.