Sun Kyu Lee winds up for a spike
November 19, 2006, Sendai, Japan — South Korea kept alive their hopes of a place in the second round with a 3-1 win over Kazakhstan on Sunday.
The 11th-ranked Koreans earned their first victory of the tournament 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21 against a Kazakhstani side still winless in Pool D — and in all likelihood out of the competition.
This was a must-win match for both teams if they were entertaining ideas of advancing to the second round, and the opening exchanges were as fierce as could be expected.
Kazakhstan’s Svyatoslav Miklashevich was blowing hot and cold at the beginning, with some ferocious spikes from the 210-cm captain tempered by some erratic serving.
Some of Korea’s serves were a tad wayward as well, though, but they managed to enter the second TTO one point ahead.
Kyung Soo Lee’s towering block in the face of Miklashevich extended that lead to two points at 20-18 and then a serve into the net from Sergey Trikoz gave them set point, which Sun Kyu Lee smashed home.
Yevgeniy Andreyev showed some true Kazakhstani grit at the start of the
second set when a huge Korean spike caught him smack dab in the face. He barely blinked.
Marat Imangaliyev let out a hearty roar with a huge serve to set up the winning point that saw the Kazakhstanis go into the second TTO 16-12 ahead and it was clear the Kazakhs were using every ounce of effort to win this vital match.
Byung Chul Chang’s left-handed spikes from the right wing were starting to find their range, though, as were Jin Sik Shin’s on the left, but a Miklashevich cracker again gave his side breathing space, at 21-18.
The set was there for the taking, and Anton Yudin steamed down the left and saw his spike effort only partially blocked to give it to Kazakhstan 25-23.
The Kazakhs had found a decent rhythm and went into the first TTO of the
third set 8-5 ahead, but it was short-lived as Kyung Soo Lee’s clean winner down the middle put Korea 14-13 ahead and another from Shin on the left
contributed to a 16-14 lead at the second technical break.
Chang then dispatched another of his angled spikes and this one bounced off Anton Rubtsov’s head as Korea quickly found themselves 23-18 ahead.
A wayward spike from Miklashevich brought set point and a topsy-turvy rally ended in Korea’s favor for a 2-1 lead.
The Koreans were beginning to enjoy it, especially full-of-beans libero Oh
Hyun Yeo who once again was never less than vocal throughout the game. His relentless encouragement went some way to giving his side a four-point lead early in the fourth set.
Two big blocks — from Rubtsov and Miklashevich — cut that lead to two and coach Ho Chul Kim regrouped his troops with a time out. They responded by restoring the lead to four by the second TTO.
The Koreans sensed victory and it came in a disappointing fashion for
Kazakhstan as Imangaliyev served long on match point.