Turkish National Team coach Giovanni Guidetti apologized to the squad’s fans after the Grand Prix opening match on Friday in Ankara. 3,000 fans filled the Baskent Volleyball Hall only to watch Turkey swept by the Olympic silver medalists Serbia.
Turkey scored just 51 points in their opener, which was at least 10 fewer than any of the 12 teams in Group 1 scored on Friday.
Guidetti’s embarrassment showed after the match.
“I apologize to the Turkish volleyball fans for this terrible volleyball performance!” Guidetti said. “I apologize for the poor level of the team today!”
His captain Fatma Yildirim said that they did not give their best to the match.
“To be honest we could not give our best today,” Yildririm said. “Serbia are a very strong team. They played very dominantly today. We still have nine more matches ahead of us. We want to be better prepared for these next games and win.”
Editor’s note: Turkey actually only has 8 more matches, barring a recovery that puts them into the Final 6.
Turkey found at least a small spark late in the match. Polen Uslupehlivan didn’t start the match, but did start the 3rd set and even in limited action managed to score 7 points to lead the team.
Guidetti’s winter job is as the head coach of Turkish powerhouse Vakifbank Istanbul. He resigned as the head coach of the Dutch National Team late last year after leading the team to a 4th-place finish at the Olympics.
Turkey’s highest-ever finish in the Grand Prix came in 2012 when they took 3rd. In total, they’ve participated in 6 Grand Prixs. Their finishes:
- 2008 – 7th
- 2012 – 3rd
- 2013 – 8th
- 2014 – 4th
- 2015 – 11th
- 2016 – 10th