Serbian girls new European volleyball champions


Serbia’s women’s national volleyball team for the first time in history won the European Championship title. Serbia beat Germany 3-2 (16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20, 15-9) in front of over 8,000 spectators at the Pionir Hall in Belgrade on Sunday. The women’s team thus joined their fellow sportsmen from the Serbian men’s national volleyball team, who won the European Championship in Vienna last month. The bronze medal went to Turkey, which defeated Italy earlier on Sunday. The “Sultans of the Net,” as the Turkish women’s volleyball team is popularly called, lost 3-2 to host Serbia. But the Sultans on Sunday made sure there was no mistake this time around by beating the Italians 3-2 in a five-set thriller to bring home bronze. This was Turkey’s second European women’s volleyball title after winning silver in Ankara in 2003. The Turks won the first set 25-21, but the tough Italians rebounded to take the second set 15-25 and the third 25-27. The Sultans then fought back to win the fourth set 25-19 and the last and final set 15-10. Neslihan Darnel of Turkey was the overall top scorer with 31 points, while Carolina Costagrande topped the Italian score list with 22. “This [bronze] medal is of utmost importance for us and it is also a medal won for the entire Turkish nation,” Turkey head coach Marco Aurelio Motta said. Turkey captain Esra Gümü? concurred, adding, “We had to exert more effort after losing to the Serbs [in the semifinal] on Saturday.”