USA shut out Turkey 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-20) in the second semifinal of the 2021 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League Thursday evening at Italy's Adriatic resort of Rimini, setting up a rematch of the epic 2019 final against Brazil.
USA charge into Women's VNL final with sweep of Turkey
Americans on track for third title with rematch of 2019 final against Brazil
Published 07:28, 24 Jun 2021
The Americans are on track to defend their title and remain exclusive winners of the trophy after their success in both previous editions of the VNL, in 2018 and 2019.
A very quick USA lead of 4-0 at the very start of the game was promptly dealt with by Turkey, who were two-up by the first technical timeout.
It was never going to be simple for the defending champions. But the Americans reclaimed control of the game and led by a safe distance of two to three points until Jordan Thompson blocked Tugba Senoglu to bring the first set home.
However, Turkey opened up lead of as many as five points at 17-22, on a bright path to tie the overall score.
And then Jordyn Poulter rotated to serve and immediately delivered an ace on Simge Akoz to start a remarkable 7-0 run and get the Americans to set point. Turkey did pull one back to end the run, but Annie Drews, who had come on off the bench earlier to replace Thompson, was there to deliver the final blow, crosscourt against a single block.
Drews started on to start in the third, as did Kelsey Robinson who came on for Jordan Larson. On the other side, Meliha Ismailoglu was replaced by Tugba Senoglu.
But this time there were no comebacks needed. Though Turkey remained very much in the game, Ebrar Karakurt could no longer deliver and was replaced by Meryem Boz, USA broke away after the second technical timeout and closed the match with ease.
Karakurt scored the match high of 17 points, but her efficiency dropped to 39% (14/36) before she was subbed out.
On the other hand play was so widely distributed on the USA side that not a single American player scored in double digits - Drews collecting the most on nine from a set and a half of action. Of course, only two-sets-worth of points were needed for USA players to register - 24 coming from unforced errors of the Turkish side.
Turkey will face Japan for the bronze medal, prior to the grand final on Friday.