Montreux, Switzerland, August 20th - The “Filenin Sultanları”, the “Queens of the net” how the team is called in Turkish, are the team of the last three years. While the Türkiye Kadınlar Voleybol 1. Ligi, Turkey’s top league, has been considered as one of the best national club leagues in the world for more than a decade, the women’s national team has not been able to meet the high expectations of Turkish Volleyball fans for a long time.
Since claiming the crown at the Montreux Volley Masters in 2015, however, the Turkish national team have rediscovered a winning formula. The Turks claimed gold at the first-ever European games in Baku only months after their success at the most prestigious invitational tournament in women’s Volleyball in 2015. Since star coach Giovanni Guidetti took over last year, the Turks added another medal to their palmarès as they clinched bronze at the 2017 CEV European Championship in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The big stars of the Turkish squad are without doubt setter Naz Aydemir Akyol and wing spiker Gözde Kirdar. The two veterans from VakifBank Istanbul have been the cornerstones of the Turkish top squad and led the team from the Bosphorus to glory at the 2013 and 2017 CEV Champions League as well as at the 2013 and 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship.
Now Akyol and Kirdar want to repeat their feat with the national team and finally claim a medal for their home country at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Japan from September 29 to October 20.
And if there is one coach in women’s Volleyball who knows how to build up a top squad, it’s Giovanni Guidetti. The Italian is known worldwide, having led the German national team to gold at the 2014 Montreux Volley Masters, to silver at the CEV European Volleyball Championship in 2013 and 2015, as well as the Netherlands to silver in 2017 and a strong fourth place at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Now Guidetti has set his sights on a medal at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Japan. The star coach from Italy wants to make history as the first coach to lead Turkey to gold at the FIVB’s premier event. As a consequence, the Turks have to be considered one of the biggest dark horses for a medal at the 33rd Montreux Volley Masters as well as the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.