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Canada swept by Turkish women at volleyball worlds for 1st loss in 5 matches

Inconsistent serves, poor service reception and too much Ebrar Karakurt.

That was the Canadian women’s volleyball team’s downfall in its first loss in five matches, a three-set sweep at the hands of Turkey in Phase 2 play on Wednesday at the world championship.

Canada’s top players, counting opposite hitters Kiera Van Ryk and Alexa Gray, also didn’t play at their top level throughout Turkey’s 25-22, 26-24, 28-26 triumph in Łódź, Poland.

Still, they led the world’s No. 15-ranked squad with 20 and 12 points, respectively, after combining for 49 points in Tuesday’s four-set victory over Thailand.

The Canadians, whose record dropped to 1-1 in Phase 2 and 4-3 overall, will be in tough to reach the quarter-finals and likely would need victories over No. 12 Poland and ninth-ranked Dominican Republic on Friday and Saturday — each with three victories overall — to be among the top four squads to advance from their eight-team pool.

“We lacked a little urgency and focus at those key moments,” Canada captain Jen Cross of Scarborough, Ont., told Volleyball Canada. “We made mistakes at important moments and against a great team like them, it just makes it very difficult.

“We don’t have a match [Thursday] so we’re going to take a day to refocus and get ready.”

Canada sits fourth in its pool, holding a slim lead in point ratio over fifth-place Thailand (4-3), which lost 3-1 in sets to Germany on Wednesday.

Turkey, which rode Karakurt’s 26-point performance to victory on Wednesday, avenged a 3-1 sets loss to Canada three months ago in Volleyball Nations League action at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex in Calgary.

The 22-year-old Karakurt also was strong on that day in late June with 23 points but appeared unstoppable at times Wednesday. She took over the second set with her team trailing 23-21 after Canada lost a net touch challenge.

The diagonal setter dominated at the service line, unloading three consecutive aces when Gray, on two occasions, and Brie King couldn’t make solid contact with the ball.

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