Hong Kong gets first win while China and Japan remain unbeaten at Asian Eastern Zone Women’s Championship
Beijing, China August 28, 2012 - Hong Kong defeated Macao in straight sets at the Asian Eastern Zone Women’s Volleyball Championship August 28 to take their first victory of the tournament. China and Japan are the only two teams that remained unbeaten as the Championship went into its third day of action.
Japan had little trouble seeing off Mongolia 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-12) in the first match of the day. They built an 8-3 lead by the first technical time-out, widened the gap to 16-7 by the second time-out, and won the set by an impressive 13-point margin.
Mongolia scored the opening point of the second set, but their rivals tied the score immediately and Mongolia never regained the lead. Devastating left-handed spiker Ayumi Nakamura thrilled the fans with her high-flying play, and helped the Japanese win the second set by the same score as the first one.
Mongolia’s hope and confidence was quickly lost as they fell behind from the beginning of the third set 2-8, then 5-16 at the second technical time-out. Japan kept the lead for the rest of the final set. Mai Okumura ended the set and the match with a powerful attack.
Hong Kong overwhelmed Macao 3-0 (25-19, 25-11 and 25-11) in the second match of the day. The first set was a hard-fought battle, with both teams desperately seeking their first match win. However, they both succumbed to numerous faults, committing errors in serving, receiving and attacking.
Macao reached the first technical time-out with an 8-7 lead. Both sides fought evenly until Hong Kong edged into a 16-15 lead at the second technical time-out, from where they gradually took over - gaining a 22-18 lead and maintaining that advantage until winning the set 25-19.
Hong Kong jumped out to a quick lead in the second set, winning eight of the first 10 points, and held on for the victory. Hong Kong set the tone in the third set and at one point led by seventeen points.
China gained a crucial win against Chinese Taipei in the third and last match of day three competition. Both teams came in undefeated, with two wins from as many as matches. China fielded their strongest line-up so far, including 187cm opposite Zeng Chunlei, who just returned from the London Olympics, and 192cm Xue Ming, former middle blocker of the national team.
In the first set, China opened quickly and established an 8-2 lead through great attacking and pressure on serve. The 188cm wing spiker Liu Xiaotong clinched five points from attacking and serving while Xue contributed two points. China won the set with a 17-point margin, 25-8.
It was a similar story in the second and third sets. China maintained their strategy, using their average height of 188cm to control the net with formidable blocking that prevented Chinese Taipei from applying any attacking strategy. China took the combitation of spectacular spikes from Liu and Zeng, and the solid blocking from Xue, to win the sets 25-12 and 25-7.
Day four fixtures: Mongolia vs. Hong Kong, Macao vs. Chinese Taipei, China vs. Japan
Standings after third rounds:
The results are as follows: