The 17th Asian Women's U19 Volleyball Championships open in Taipei
In his welcome speech, Mr Tim T.Y. Ting welcomed all the participants and wished all the teams a great tournament. He also made a brief introduction of Taipei City and invited all in attendance to spend some time exploring the city.
“It is such a pleasure to have friends coming from afar! I hope all the junior players can learn skills from each other and build friendships in Taipei. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Asian Volleyball Confederation, the Sports Administration of the Ministry of Education, the Taipei City Government and all the sponsors.” said Mr Wang Kuei Shiang in his speech.
Following the opening ceremony, hosts Chinese Taipei played Sri Lanka, winning in straight sets 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-7).
Chinese Taipei started off their first game a bit uncertainly with four failed serves in the first set. They recovered quickly, however, and easily surged ahead to a five point lead before the first technical timeout. Chinese Taipei then confidently palmed another two points to a 10-3 lead, forcing Sri Lanka to call for their first timeout. But the situation did not change much thereafter and the gap was maintained at 19-12 when Sri Lanka called for their second timeout. With the support of their fans, the hosts did not give their opponents a chance to make their way back into the set, which ended 25-16.
The second set started with a dashing spike from Chinese Taipei. A failed block gave Sri Lanka their first point of the set. Sri Lanka were not able to keep control, however. Chinese Taipei were able to pull ahead by 5 points once again at the first technical timeout and doubled the gap at the second. Chinese Taipei maintained control over the set, never giving up more than one point to Sri Lanka at a time. When Chinese Taipei were three points away from taking the set, Sri Lanka called for another timeout. A strong spike and a solid block brought Chinese Taipei to the match point, which ended Sri Lanka's hopes of competing for the second set.
In the third set, Chinese Taipei confidently accumulated momentum and quickly pulled ahead. Sri Lanka were once again pressured to call a timeout when falling behind 5-11. Chinese Taipei proved it was in vain and consistently pocketed points. They raced ahead to an 18-point advantage and won the match.
Chinese Taipei's Chang Yu Chia scored 12 points, twice as many as Sri Lanka's best scorer, to become the best scorer of the match.
“We did not have enough warm up due to the opening ceremony. So we played too tight in the beginning. Anyway, I am happy to win the first match. But we still have to improve our serve and maintain our consistency in the following matches.” said Mai Chien Chung, head coach of Chinese Taipei.
“Today our serve and reception were poor but our spiking was OK. Our team do not have international experience. Chinese Taipei is good at attacking, service and blocking. They are a strong team and I think they can finish in the top 4. ” said K.A. Janaka Indrajith, head coach of Sri Lanka.
There were no upsets in the six other matches of the day, which all ended in straight set victories.
Japan beat Hong Kong 3-0 (25-8, 25-6, 25-11)
The first match of the Championship at the Taipei University Gymnasium saw Japan dominate Hong Kong. In the first set, Japan began with a clean spike and a block to lead 2-0. Japan then quickly widened the gap to 6-1 with several aces, before Hong Kong called a timeout. Japan continued to strengthen their game. Their opponents scored one more point, but Japan scored 13 points to take a 21-4 lead. Hong Kong tried to make some adjustments through substitutions, but could do nothing to come back into the set. Hong Kong stole four points before Japan scored an ace to finish the set at 25-8.
Japan maintained their advantage and momentum in the second set, scoring six successive points from the outset. Hong Kong only scored one and four points respectively ahead of the two technical timeouts. Two errors were made by Japan in the period following the timeouts, but more were made by Hong Kong and the second set went to Japan 25-6
Hong Kong gradually got used to the rhythm of the match, however, and combined better in the third set, though they were still at an obvious disadvantage from the point of view of height reach statistics. The scores at the two technical timeouts were 3-8 and 8-16. Japan’s errors increased in this set, especially in serving, giving their opponents at least three points. However, with a strong spike by No. 4 player Sakamoto Nanaka, Japan called the third set, winning it 25-11 to claim victory in the championship opener.
Japan scored a total of 75 points: 44 from attacking, five from blocking, 14 from serving and 12 from their opponent’s errors. Sakamoto Nanaka was the best scorer with ten points on Japan’s side, while Kwok Wing Sum scored just three for Hong Kong.
“This is our first match and our players were very nervous. Japan did very well in serving and we had many errors in receiving. Japan are a very strong team with a strict discipline. I can always hear ‘No mistake’ shouted from their coach. I hope we can play better in the following matches with India and Turkmenistan so that we can have a better chance to get qualified from the pool.” said Cheung King Fai, head coach of Hong Kong, after the match.
“We are a young team and our team was just formed in April this year. We had three weeks training for this championship. This is our first match and we made several errors. We are a team and every player is very important for me. I cannot judge who is better or not. But just for this match, the captain No. 1 player Yanagita Mizuki was the best. She had good spikes, good defense, leadership, strong mentality and fighting spirit. ” said Abo Kiyoshi, head coach of Japan.
Vietnam outclass New Zealand 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-19)
Vietnam maintained a comfortable lead throughout the first set as they leaped ahead from the very beginning. The scoreboard displayed 8-2 at the first technical timeout. New Zealand tried to make adjustments through substitutions and a timeout, but their occasional errors stopped them from catching up. By committing a receive error, New Zealand lost the first in 12-25.
The second set was not as comfortable for Vietnam, even if they established a 6-1 lead at the beginning by winning six consecutive points with strong spikes. New Zealand created problems for Vietnam in the middle and at the end of the set. The score difference decreased by three points at 11-8, but Vietnam managed to control the situation. The second set ended 25-20, with a serve failure made by New Zealand.
New Zealand were slow to react at the start of the third set, losing three points. This proved to be a fatal mistake as Vietnam slowly but surely seized every opportunity to score. Half-way through the third set, however, Vietnam were shocked to find that New Zealand were back to 13-14, trailing by just one point. A prompt timeout called by Vietnam extinguished New Zealand's hope, however. At the second technical timeout, Vietnam had again brought the score difference back to a relatively comfortable three points, which were maintained until 22-19. With three destructive serves from Vietnam’s No. 11 player Doan Thi Xuan, Vietnam then clinched the third set 25-19 and claimed their first victory in Pool B.
No. 11 player Doan Thi Xuan of Vietnam and No. 4 player Fitzi Anilise of New Zealand both contributed 12 points and ranked as the best scorers of the match.
“We served too easily. We could not put the team opposite under pressure. They were able to run their attack easily and efficiently. They were fast in attack and we could not stop them. And their serves were tough to handle and we could not secure our passes for the attack. ” said Mcllroy Colleen, head coach of New Zealand.
“We arrived in Taipei on July 9. We tried to get up to the speed of play of the Asian teams. So we came early. But unfortunately we lost to Vietnam today. I am very disappointed," Mcllroy Colleen added.
China overpower Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-13, 25-8, 25-7)
Reigning champions China showed their determination to defend their title by starting with a 3-0 victory over Kazakhstan (25-13, 25-8, 25-7).
In the first set, after a long rally, China gained seven consecutive points and brought the score to 10-3. With an average height of 1.86m, China successfully took the advantage at the net and continued to widen the gap to claim the set 25-13.
In the second set, despite three changes to the team, Kazakhstan still could not stop China’s strong offense and lost the set 25-8.
Kazakhstan lost their confidence and made more errors in the start of the third set. The score was 7-0 before China made a mistake in serving. The set ended 25-7.
China’s top scorer was Xiangyu Gong, who charted 15 points. Lin Lin added 11. Qian Zhang and Ye Jin each contributed 9.
“We had expected the difficulty. And we held nothing back for the first match. Our serve was not aggressive enough today and the team combination was not very consistent. This is what we need to improve in the following matches.” said Haiping Sun, the captain of China.
Korea sweep Australia 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-9)
Korea pulled ahead at the very beginning of the match, full of energy and attacking confidence. Team Australia, however, did not yield to accept an early defeat against the Korean team. They tried to fight back to level the match, but Korea eventually came out on top.
Of their 75 points, Korea scored 31 from attacking, five from blocking, 21 from serving and 18 from opponent errors. Jeong Yuli was the best scorer with 14 points for Korea, while Jessica Jones scored only three for Australia.
Korean head coach Mr Kim Yangsoo stressed that team work was the key to Korea's good performance in their first match, and they are looking forward to competing against Thailand in the near future.
Thailand defeat Macao 3-0 (25-6, 25-8, 25-5)
The second match in Pool D at the 17th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championships in Taipei Gym was played between Thailand and Macao, China. Thailand found their rhythm from the beginning and held the control of the match throughout.
Of their 75 points, Thailand scored 46 from attacking, three from blocking, 12 from serving and 12 from opponent errors. N. Wachareeya was the best scorer with 12 points on Thailand’s side while Leong V. T. only scored four for Macao.
“We aim to enter the second round. And today's match result was already expected. We also expect to have the match with Korea. And I thought the best player of this match was M. Chutchuon, No.14. She is the youngest player in the team but performs the best.” said Niemtuptim Jarun, head coach of Thailand.
India overturn Turkmenistan 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-19)
India resisted the attacks from Turkmenistan and secured their first victory at the Taipei Gymnasium on Day One of the 17th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championships.
India scored 41 from attacking, six from blocking, 12 from serving and 16 from opponent errors to make up their 75 points. Captain Nirmal was the best scorer with 15 points on India’s side, while No. 5 player Madina B. contributed eight points for Turkmenistan.
“Our team produced great teamwork and were better than our opponents. Our captain performed excellently in this match. And now I am worried about the next match with Hong Kong because they can always cause surprises ” said Mr T. Balachandran, head coach of India.
Match results & schedule (Local Time)
Pool round-robin preliminaries
July 16 - Taipei University Gymnasium
11.00 Japan - Hong Kong, China 3-0 (25-8, 25-6, 25-11)
13.00 Vietnam - New Zealand 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-19)
15.00 China - Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-13, 25-8, 25-7)
19.30 Chinese Taipei - Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-7)
11.00 Australia - Korea 0-3 (12-25, 11-25, 9-25)
13.00 Thailand - Macau, China 3-0 (25-6, 25-8, 25-5)
15.00 Turkmenistan - India 0-3 (18-25, 14-25, 19-25)
July 17 - Taipei University Gymnasium
12.00 Kazakhstan - New Zealand
14.00 China - Vietnam
16.00 Chinese Taipei - Iran
12.00 Korea - Macau, China
14.00 Thailand - Australia
16.00 Hong Kong, China - India
18.00 Japan - Turkmenistan
July 18 - Taipei University Gymnasium
12.00 Kazakhstan - Vietnam
14.00 China - New Zealand
16.00 Sri Lanka - Iran
12.00 Australia - Macau, China
14.00 Korea - Thailand
16.00 India - Japan
18.00 Turkmenistan - Hong Kong, China