The seventh-ranked women’s volleyball team in the FIVB Women’s Volleyball Federation will be in the spotlight in 2023. It’s the result of a meeting between the naturalized Melissa Vargas and the world-renowned coach Daniele Santarelli.
The national women’s volleyball team has been in full training mode since the conclusion of the Turkiye League on December 12. The team 안전놀이터 will be Korea’s first opponent in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL). They are scheduled to meet on June 1 in Antalya, Turkey, in the first match of Week 1 of the VNL.
Vargas is a Cuban-born, 194-centimeter outside hitter born in 1999. He was granted Turkiye’s nationality after moving to Fenerbahçe in 2018 and has been eligible to play internationally for the national team since this year, two years later.
In the last two years, he started the season with Tianjin in China before returning to Fenerbahçe in the winter transfer window to play the rest of the season. Vargas has gained a wealth of experience and has become a more fearsome striker. In the 2022-23 season, he led Fenerbahçe to the Turkiye League title and was named MVP. Best attacker and best server awards were a bonus.
The team had an ace in the hole. Evra Karakurt and Vargas, who took the court with the Turkiye ace at the Tokyo Olympics, have a friendly rivalry. According to the Turkiye Volleyball Association, Santarelli said, “We are happy to have Vargas on board. Vargas’s addition to our team will help us improve our strength and make us more competitive.”
Santarelli is currently the head coach of Imoco Corneliano in Italy’s top women’s volleyball league, having previously coached Croatia (2018-2021) and Serbia (2022). Giovanni Guidetti, who led the Turkiye national team, has taken over as Serbia’s head coach.
Santarelli’s team finished third at last year’s VNL without Serbian gunner Tiana Boskovic. Coincidentally, it was in the third-place match against Turkiye that Serbia won 3-0 in straight sets. It was yet another Serbian performance, with solid organization despite the absence of their star player.
Santarelli and Vargas’ squad has consistently produced remarkable results.
In the meantime, Turkiye has been relatively lacking in outside hitter presence. Baladin filled one spot, but there were question marks in the other. It will be interesting to see if the offensive-minded Vargas can fill the void and what kind of teamwork Santorelli will bring to the table in Turkuye.