The United States are back in the semifinals of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship. After finishing fifth in 2018, the winners of the 2014 edition of the tournament advanced to the final four of this year’s event on Tuesday, in Gliwice, Poland.
USA sweep Türkiye on the way to the semifinals
The Olympic champions will face the winners of the match between Serbia and Poland
Published 05:18, 11 Oct 2022
After winning seven of their nine matches in the first two phases of the tournament, the reigning Olympic champions showed their strength in the quarterfinals, sweeping Türkiye 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-20) to continue moving forward.
With their quarterfinal victory, the Americans are just one win away from their sixth World Championship medal – they took gold in 2014, silver in 1967 and 2002 and bronze in 1982 and 1990.
Outside hitter Alexandra ‘Ali’ Frantti led the American offence against the Turkish, leaving the court with a match-high 18 points. The 26-year-old Frantti registered 15 kills, one block and two aces, and hit at a 42.31% efficiency rate.
“We have everybody working towards a common goal and everybody showed up today with eyes locked on the gameplan,” Robinson Cook commented. “I’m very proud of the girls. Türkiye have great players and one of the best coaches in the world, so it’s always very difficult. It’s never easy, but I’m glad that we did it.”
Despite performing better in blocks (12 to nine) and aces (four to zero) and benefiting from more opponent errors (14 to 13), the American victory was mostly built on the team’s strong offence, which produced 44 kills against 35 for the Turkish squad.
The Americans had a strong start to the match, benefiting from back-to-back blocks and an ace from Frantti to score four of the first five points. A monster block and a kill from Karakurt, and a block from Gunes, tied the match at 10-10. The Turkish team took the lead and quickly built a two-point advantage at 13-11 with two blocks from Hande Baladin, but the Americans fought back and levelled the score at 16 points. With an ace from Haleigh Washington and a kill from Frantti, the Olympic champions forced a Turkish timeout at 19-17. After a succession of Turkish errors, the USA won the set 25-22 with a kill from Robinson Cook.
Türkiye started the second set well and quickly built a 3-0 lead with a block from Karakurt. The European advantage, however, was immediately dissipated by the Americans, who fought back and tied at 3-3 with a kill from Chiaka Ogbogu. The reigning Olympic champions were ahead by two points at 9-7 with a block from Frantti and never looked back. Despite some good Turkish moments in the set, the Americans were able to remain ahead until the end and even extended their lead before taking the 25-15 win after an offensive error from Karakurt.
The USA kept their momentum at the start of the third set and built a comfortable 10-5 lead after consecutive kills from Frantti. Keeping their offensive efficiency, the Americans improved their lead to 18-11 before Robinson Cook blocked Karakurt to end the set 25-20 and the match in favour of the Olympic champions.
Reigning Volleyball Nations League and European champions Italy also earned a place in the semifinals. The FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Ranking leaders defeated China 3-1 (25-16, 25-22, 13-25, 25-17) in their quarterfinal matchup in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
The quarterfinals continue later on Tuesday with two more matches. At 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT), Brazil and Japan will clash in Apeldoorn. Thirty minutes later, the duel between defending champions Serbia and hosts Poland will start in Gliwice.
In the semifinals, the Italians will play the winners of the duel between Brazilians and Japanese on Thursday while the Americans will face Serbia or Poland on Wednesday.