Türkiye is determined to reach the top of volleyball. After the women's national volleyball team won their first-ever VNL (Volleyball Nations League) gold medal, the men's national volleyball team which was promoted to the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) Challenger Cup as the CEV (Confédération Européenne de Volleyball) European Golden League champion, qualified for the VNL 2024 by defeating the host Qatar 3-2 in the Challenger Cup held in Doha.
Last year's 3-1 defeat to Cuba in the final was a huge disappointment. However, this year the national volleyball players celebrated their win with a Turkish Folk Dance performance on the court with their fans. Burutay Subaşı, one of the team's experienced spikers, had previously stressed that the young players in the team were a successful generation and that they would get better as they gain experience.
The top scorer of the final match was Adis Lagumdzija with 21 points (19 attacks, 1 block, 1 ace). He was followed by Efe Bayram with 18 points (12 attacks 3 blocks 3 aces) and Burutay Subaşı with 15 points (10 attacks 4 blocks 1 ace). Efe and Adis are the two youngest players on the team and the only national volleyball players playing in a foreign league (Italian League). It can be inferred that playing in a tough foreign league like the Italian league also contributes to their performance.
Turkish Men's Volleyball National Team was subjected to serious criticism before their success. The team itself was not satisfied with its performance, especially in the Golden League. It was said that the team performed below its potential. Burutay Subaşı and Efe Bayram made a statement about this situation in an interview with 4141 Sport. The players said that the team's style of play had also changed due to the change of coaching. They stated that they were familiar with the new coach Alberto Giuliani's style because they had worked with him before, but the other members of the team had had a hard time getting used to the new strategies and that it was very normal. They asked the fans to refrain from abrasive criticism.
Italian coach Alberto Giuliani, who won the Turkish Super Cup with Halkbank Sports Club in the 2018-2019 season, has many achievements on a club basis. He was also the head coach of the Slovenian Men's National Team in 2019 and contributed to the national team winning the Challenger Cup. Turkish volleyball fans were delighted when TVF (Turkish Volleyball Federation) President Mehmet Akif Üstündağ reached an agreement with Alberto Giuliani for the national team. The fact that the team achieved one of the most important successes in its history with its new coach also strengthened the good impression of the fans despite some criticism about his player preferences.
The next stop for the national volleyball players will be the CEV Eurovolley Championship, which starts on 26 August. The team will have about one month to complete their training and rest, and after the Eurovolley, they will take the court for the Olympic qualifiers on 30 September. We hope that the national team will return to their country as successfully as possible after the intense national team season.
Written by Nehir Türkmen
Edited by Bilge Öztürk & Yağmur Ece Nisanoğlu
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