RIMINI, Italy, June 24, 2021 - 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.
Earlier on Thursday Brazil had claimed the first
ticket to the final with a 3-1 win over Japan.
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
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
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
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
Turkey will face Japan for the bronze medal,
prior to the grand final on Friday.