VakifBank’s Ebrar Karakurt is a star on the rise


Ebrar Karakurt (centre) makes a promising debut at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship

Shaoxing, China, December 6, 2018 – VakifBank Istanbul’s 18-year-old opposite Ebrar Karakurt made a promising debut at the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship, helping her team to start their title defence bid with back-to-back victories in Shaoxing.

The 194cm-tall Karakurt is filling in for injured Lonneke Sloetjes and has been delivering well for the team. The Istanbul-native is playing a key role for the team’s offence and her numbers are impressive.

“She’s a great complement to Zhu Ting on offence,” VakifBank coach Giovanni Guidetti said. “Zhu cannot play alone - she needs a lot of help from her team-mates.

“Normally, Lonneke helps Zhu, but she has a minor injury and Ebrar is doing an amazing job. I am very proud of her because the team is playing without a very important player like Lonneke, but the results have been the same so far.”

Karakurt in action at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship.

Karakurt’s performance on the Women’s Club World Championship court is proof there is more to her skillset than a tall frame. She has a solid background and started playing volleyball at a young age.

“I started playing volleyball in fifth grade,” Karakurt said. “VakifBank discovered me in one of my school matches. Three years after that I joined the club. I’ve been with VakifBank for six years now.

“I’ve won a lot of cups and championships as a member of the youth team. Now I am with the main team, I am very excited to be in the Club World Championship for the first time.”

With the top players in the world as her support system and a brilliant coach as her guide, Karakurt is on her way up.

“Karakurt is very young and talented,” Guidetti said. “She’s learning how to play and become a professional player. She has a lot of things to learn. She’s crazy, but I like crazy players. I like the way she is developing because you see her growth day by day. We are really lucky to have her.”

Ebrar Karakurt shows great energy on the court in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship in Shaoxing, China.

Karakurt indeed has the privilege to be with the best but she is not taking anything for granted and works hard to become a better player.

“Working with Giovanni is very challenging,” said Karakurt about her mentor. “He expects the best from everyone and he will really push us hard. On the court he will push you hard to give your best, but he really is a great person off the court.

“I’ve been working with him for eight months since joining the senior national team. He is teaching me a lot about volleyball.”

Karakurt has big dreams, but with her promising performance at the Club World Championship nothing is impossible.

“I want to play for VakifBank for many years and I want to be in the starting six,” she said. “I want to win the Champions League and the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.

“I also have big dreams as a member of the national team. I want to win the Volleyball Nations League and World Championship. I want to make it to the Olympics.”

Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship
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