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Hong Kong debut at Asian youth championship with tough win over Vietnam

Despite their height disadvantage, Thailand overcame Kazakhstan in straight sets on day one
Shuanglui, China, October 13, 2012 – Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Thailand and Chinese Taipei are opening day victors at Asian Youth Girls’ Championship.

Hong Kong debuted at the Asian Youth Girls with a spirited five-set win over Vietnam , 25-17, 25-19, 23-25, 13-25, 15-10 on Friday at the Shuangliu Sports Centre. Hong Kong relied on steady service and on setter Chow Yinlam, who enabled Hong Kong’s hitters to fire away from both flanks until the Vietnamese side firmed up their play and seized the third set. More trouble came for the Hong Kong squad as their serves started to flail in the fourth.

“This is the part where we got lost,” said Hong Kong coach Lee Yue Ting.

In the fifth set, Hong Kong regained composure and overcame Vietnam 15-10. Yan Ching took top scoring honours with a total of 13 points.

Later, Iran recorded a 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-17) victory against Australia in Pool B. Amini posted a total of 11 points, including four points from service attempts. The Australian side tried to compensate with blocks, with Phoebe Bell at the helm, but errors continued to hound the team. The Iranian side likewise prevailed in service accuracy, scoring a total of 11 points from serves.

Also in Pool B, titleholder Japan rushed to a 3-0 victory over India, (25-7, 25-9, 25-7) in a mere 54 minutes of play. Sarina Koga took on the scoring reins with a total of 14 attacks that masterfully combined power, speed and precision. The Indian blockers managed to score five points by deflecting their opponents’ attacks. But the Japanese side exhibited more polished technique and even used aggressive combination plays to stun India’s defenders into a total of 29 errors.

Thailand blew past Kazakhstan in three sets (25-11, 25-9, 25-13) to capture victory in Pool C of the preliminary round. By the opening plays the Thai team clearly had the advantage in technique, leaving the Kazakhs no room to rally. The second set further proved the Thais’ mastery of their own game, and of their opponents’ defensive flaws. Kazakhstan tried to set up a solid blocking stance with Popova and Gubaidullina manning the fort, but Thailand’s S. Patcharaporn proved to be a scoring gem with 13 points as she connected from nearly all flanks.

In Friday’s opening match, Chinese Taipei mounted a scoring rampage against Sri Lanka in three sets (25-2, 25-6, 25-14). Coach Lo Chungjen’s team played steady offense, enabling his hitters to connect on combination plays. Sri Lanka struggled with its poor floor defence, which only impaired their offensive momentum. P.K. Lakashani tried to spark hope in the third set but Chen Tzuya consistently unleashed precision attacks to cap the day’s Pool D match with a total of 16 points.

Day One Results:
Pool A

Hong Kong v Vietnam 3-2 (25-17, 25-19, 23-25, 13-25, 15-10)

Pool B
Iran v Australia 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-17)
Japan v India 3-0 (25-7, 25-9, 25-7)

Pool C

Thailand v Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-11, 25-9, 25-13)

Pool D
Chinese Taipei v Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-2, 25-6, 25-14)


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