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Koreans dismiss Canada in straight sets

Korea's Song-Yi Han gives the Canadian blockers Sherline Holness and Lauren O'Reilly a hard time.

Osaka, Japan October 29, 2010 - Korea beat Canada in straight sets (25-19, 25-19 25-14) in their opening match in Pool D at the FIVB Women's World Championship at Osaka Municipal City Gymnasium on Friday afternoon.

The Koreans were well organised and able to offset the physical power of their younger, inexperienced opponents. With Korea ranked 21st in the world and Canada 24th, on paper it had looked like being a competitive match, but that was not the case – the Canadians had not a single player on their squad with World Championship experience and it showed.

Youn-Joo Hwang led the way for Korea with 19 points (18 in attack) while teammate Yeon-Koung Kim, a force at the net with several soaring spikes, chipped in with 14 (13 in attack). Left-hander Sarah Pavan led Canada’s scoring with 16 points (14 in attack) and was impressive both in her serving and attacking, but Arnd Ludwig's team paid the price for making 22 errors to Korea's 14.

Korea, wearing a colourful array of tape, pads and braces, produced some good defensive work in the opening set, saving several balls with acrobatic dives and capitalising on the Canadians' eight errors. They took the set 25-19, with Song-Yi Han scoring five points. The second set was a seesaw affair with the lead going back and forth. Trailing 22-18 late in the second set, Canada took a timeout to try and find a way to stay in the match, but it was to no avail as they dropped it 25-19.

The Canadians played cerebrally at times, scoring on several tips, but they were not able to do it consistently. With Korea 6-5 up in the final set, there was an extended rally that ended when Pavan hit a spike out. The match ended on its longest rally as Korea finished off the set 25-14 and with it the contest. Sam-Ryong Park's team play the Dominican Republic next on Saturday, while Canada go up against China.

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