Ankara, Turkey, 24 June 2016 - Lise Van Hecke leads Belgium to a 3-1 (25-18, 25-14, 19-25, 25-21) win over hosts Turkey, in Pool G, Group 1 of the World Grand Prix, the first win for Belgium in this year’s campaign.
The Belgian’s 2016 World Grand Prix tournament had got off to the worst start with three defeats, but Van Hecke’s haul of 20 points, with teammate Laura Heyrman adding 18 points, proved too much for Turkey, who once again were led in points by Polen Uslupehlivan with 18 points, the only one of her team to reach double figures.
In front of a vocal crowd in the Turkish capital, the hosts were hoping to get off to the perfect start but found a Belgium side, intent on improving their World Grand Prix fortunes after a poor start to the campaign. Both teams exchanged points and at 10-10 the set was evenly balanced, before the visitors edged in front to secure the set, pulling away in the final stages to take a 1-0 lead.
The second set began with Belgium on the front front and they established an early lead, making the most of a series of errors from Turkey, whilst Van Hecke and Heyrman’s teamwork was proving vital. Turkey had no answer to their fellow European opponents and fell behind 2-0 in sets.
Needing a response and roared on by their home support, Turkey began the third set, intent on making their mark in the game. Uslupehlivan was keeping her team in the game and a change in game plan saw, the Turkish team, establish a lead, that they held on too, taking the game into a fourth set.
Both teams had their own mission’s in the fourth set, with Turkey looking to take the game to a decider, whilst Belgium were looking to stifle the momentum of the third set from their opponents. The set was tight throughout but, with the prize of their first win in the 2016 World Grand Prix in sight, Belgium wrapped the game up to earn victory.