Russia Piles Up 22 Blocks in 5-Set Win over Turkey, Serbia Rolls

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 30th, 2018 | European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Women, International Volleyball, News

2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League – Week 3 / Pool 10

  • May 29-31, 2018
  • Kraljevo Sports Hall; Kraljevo, Serbia
  • Time Zone: UCT + 2 (ET + 6)
  • World Rankings: #3 Serbia, #5 Russia, #12 Turkey, #13 Belgium
  • Preview
  • Schedule/Results


Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
29 May 17:00 Belgium  0–3  Turkey 19–25 18–25 24–26 61–76 P2 P3
29 May 20:00 Serbia  3–0  Russia 25–23 25–19 25–18 75–60 P2 P3
30 May 16:00 Turkey  2–3  Russia 23–25 25–19 25–23 20–25 11–15 104–107 P2 P3
30 May 19:00 Belgium  0–3  Serbia 20–25 16–25 14–25 50–75


Russia def. Turkey 3-2

  • Russia defeated Turkey 25-23, 19-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11
  • Russia moved to 5-3 (14 points); Turkey moved to 6-2 (18 points)

Russia kept itself within striking distance of the Volleyball Nations League finals, moving into seventh place with 14 points, four behind Turkey, which remained in the top five despite Wednesday’s five-set loss with 18 points.

Russia boasted a 22-13 lead in blocks to rally for the victory after falling behind 2-1 in the match. The Russians also held a slight 54-52 edge in kills. For its part, Turkey owned a 12-8 lead in aces and 27-22 advantage in points off errors.

Irina Voronkova led all players with 20 points, notching 16 kills, three aces and a block, for Russia. Four other Russians managed double-digit scoring efforts: Ekaterina Lyubushkina (16), Natalia Malykh (16), Angelina Lazarenko (10) and Kseniia Parubets (10). Malykh turned in 12 kills, three blocks and an ace, while Lyubushkina was a force at the net with a match-high eight blocks, six kills and two aces. Lazarenko chipped in six stuffs and four kills, while Parubets rounded out the offense with eight kills and two stuffs.

Eda Erdem Dundar and Meliha Ismailoglu paced Turkey with 16 and 14 points respectively. Dundar kept Turkey in the match with seven aces, six kills and three blocks. Ismailoglu chalked up 12 kills, a block and an ace. Nine other players contributed at least one kill apiece to aid the Turkish attack. Ebrar Karakurt (7), Hande Baladin (7), Meryem Boz (6), and Seyma Ercan (6) were next on the team with six or more putaways. Coach Giovanni Guidetti went 13 deep on his 14 woman roster in the match looking for answers.

After a back and forth evening, the Russians jumped ahead 4-1 in the decisive fifth set. It was a four-point game midway through as Russia went up 10-6. In the end, an Olga Biryukova kill gave Russia the 15-11 win to seal the comeback effort.

Set 1 saw the teams level at 15 before Turkey rode Boz to a 20-18 advantage. After a tie at 22, Russia finished off a 25-23 victory on a Malykh block.

After trailing 12-7 in Set 2, Turkey chipped away and tied it up 17. Putdowns by Boz and Baladin secured the 25-19 win and evened the match at a set apiece.

Russia grabbed a 9-8 lead in Set 3 and carried that to a 19-17 advantage, but could not hold on. Turkey stole away the set, ending it at 25-23 on a triple block.

Russia went up 8-4 in Set 4 and soon boasted a 10-point lead at 16-6 as its block took form and put the set out of reach. Dundar served up six straight aces to keep Turkey close, but in the end, it s was not enough as Karakurt gave the Russians the 25-20 win and sent the match to tiebreak.


Serbia def. Belgium 3-0

  • Serbia defeated Belgium 25-20, 25-16, 25-14
  • Serbia moved to 7-1 (21 points); Belgium moved to 2-6 (6 points)

Serbia rode double-digit scoring efforts by Brankica Mihajlovic, Bojana Milenkovic and Stefana Veljkovic to an easy sweep of Belgium to keep pace with the United States top the VNL leaderboard.

Mihajlovic accounted for 16 points (14 kills, 1 block, 1 ace), while Milenkovic added 13 (9 kills, 3 aces, 1 block) and Veljkovic chipped in 10 (7 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace) to pace the Serbs. Ana Bjelica downed eight kills, while Bojana Zivkovic put up a team-best three blocks in the win. Top scorer Tijana Boskovic and a handful of other starters had the night off.

Celine Van Gestel and Britt Herbots managed nine and eight points respectively, each turning in eight kills, to lead the Belgian attack. Marlies Janssens and Karolina Goliat posted four kills each and added a block apiece to aid the team’s scoring.

Serbia held the advantage in every statistical category: kills (43-29), blocks (8-3), aces (6-3) and opponent errors (17-15).

Serbia built a 16-11 lead in Set 1 and held off the Belgians in a 25-20 win, which came on Mihajlovic putaway.

Set 2 saw the Serbians take a 7-5 lead early and push it to five at 13-8 before finishing off the 25-16 win behind Zivkovic.

Set 3 was over early on as Serbia claimed a 9-4 lead and went up by 10 (16-6)  as Milenkovic served up an ace. It was smooth sailing from there in a 25-13 win to clinch the sweep.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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