Kim Yeon-koung issued a rallying cry to her Eczacibasi VitrA team-mates after they teed up a title-deciding fifth play-off against VakifBank with a thrilling 3-2 victory in game four of the Turkish League finals.
The Korean outside hitter promised that the Tigers would “prepare more” for Sunday’s decider after an outstanding performance from Tijana Boskovic tipped a rollercoaster encounter in Eczacibasi’s favour and left the series level at 2-2.
After confidently claiming the first set 25-16, the hosts were pegged back 18-25 in the second as VafikBank sensed they might have the opportunity to wrap up the title on the night.
The visitors were forced to take a time-out at 9-6 in the third after an ace from setter Gamze Alikaya, and crucial scores from Kim and Boskovic saw Eczacibasi edge it 25-23 to put their noses in front.
Again VakifBank clawed their way back, winning the fourth set 25-21 to send the match into a breathtaking tie-break set which they led 8-6 at the change of court.
But the Tigers prevailed 15-13 to the delight of an ecstatic home crowd, clinching a victory Kim felt they very much deserved.
‘One more game’
“It was an incredible game and I want to say congratulations to our team,” she told the club’s official website.
“I think we really deserved this win.
“But we still have one more game to become champions so for sure we will prepare more than this time.
“I hope we will have a cup and finish well.”
Outside hitter Jordan Larson echoed her comments as she looked forward to Sunday’s tantalising fifth game.
“I’m just really excited for our team,” said Larson.
“It was just an incredible match with incredible teamwork. We played so well together and I’m just really proud.
“I’m excited for the fifth game!”