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Top eight confirmed for the 17th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship

Thailand put on good defence against Korea that resulted to a 3-1 win.

Taipei, Chinese Taipei, July 18, 2014 – The 17th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship completed the last round of pool play in the Round Robin preliminaries at the Taipei Gymnasium on Friday, producing the top eight teams who will advance to the playoffs.

The teams will be divided further into two pools which will determine the quarterfinal matchups. Chinese Taipei, Sri Lanka, Japan and India are in Pool E, while China, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Korea comprise Pool F.

In earlier matches, Kazakhstan endured a difficult five-set match against Vietnam (26-24, 25-21, 14-25, 24-25, 15-13), successfully clinching the second position to the top eight. Kazakhstan and Vietnam were evenly matched, resulting to long rallies, where the score difference do not go over three points. Kazakhstan managed to escape the first set 26-24. Vietnam began the second set with an early two point lead, which they held until the first technical timeout, then Kazakhstan found a way to counter against their opponents and managed to post a 21-18 lead. The Kazakhs surged ahead and clinched the set 25-21.

Vietnam sprinted ahead, easily capturing an 8-2 lead in the third set, as they saw a slight defensive lapse on the Kazakh side. Kazakhstan were unable to reduce the gap and lost the third set 25-14 to Vietnam. The Vietnamese kept their momentum in the fourth set with a 6-1 lead but the Kazakhs had great teamwork and managed to overtake with a 16-14. Vietnam were determined to give Kazakhstan some pressure and tied the score at 19-all and eventually closed the set 26-24 in their favour. Kazakhstan dealt with stronger pressure in the deciding set but eventually overcame the race 15-13.

Meanwhile, China displayed unmatched power with a straight sets (25-6, 25-4, 25-14) win over New Zealand. China turned the game into a solo show by bagging 75 points within 49 minutes of play, limiting their opponents to score only 24 points. In the first set, China disabled the defence of New Zealand with their attacks. China used their height and skills advantage and clinched the set 25-6 in just 14 minutes.

China followed the same offensive pattern that downed the New Zealand team to score only four points in the set, as the latter could not execute a play due to the strong serves and spikes of the Chinese squad. In the third set, China used their substitute players that allowed New Zealand to create better plays for themselves. China committed several errors on their service but still managed to protect their lead, while New Zealand started committing costly errors on the attack, helping China to conclude the third set 25-14.

“In the first two sets, our players were 80 to 90 per cent effective,” China coach Xu Jiande said. After that, they slacked off a little bit. I would only say that they played 50 per cent well in the third set.”

Sri Lanka beat Iran 3-1 (25-15, 16-25, 26-24, 25-16) in Pool A. The first set started with a close fight but later on Sri Lanka gained an 8-4 advantage that downed the confidence of the Iranian players. Sri Lanka worked every point and palmed the first set 25-15. Iran reversed the situation completely and took the second set 25-16.

Sri Lanka took advantage of an opportunity to overturn the Iranian squad after the latter pocketed the first match point. Sri Lanka forced a deuce and another point to secure the third set 26-24. Sri Lanka continued to execute their offensive plays which gave no chance for Iran to turn the tide 25-16.

Sri Lanka coach Saman Abewardana expressed his satisfaction on the performance of his team, who exerted all their efforts to win the match against Iran before coming to Chinese Taipei.

“We obviously were no match for Chinese Taipei,” Abewardana said. “Our skills can match the skills of Iran, that’s why we went all out in this match.”

Australia prevailed over Macau 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 25-15, 24-26, 15-10). The tall Australians played quicker and spot on towards the end of the deciding set. Macau snatched two sets but lost to the taller Australians, who played quicker and spot on towards the end of the deciding set.

“Macau played very well so we did not win easily,” Australia coach Christopher Todd said. “The score was very close a lot of times and that is why we have to focus more on the court. Everyone did a great job and we are looking forward to the next match.”

Thailand bested Korea 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21). Korea were led by captain Lee Jaeyeong with 27 points, while Thailand was led by M. Chutchuon, who charted 21 points.

Both sides fought closely from the start of the first set but Thailand grabbed more chances to edge Korea 8-6 in the first technical timeout. Thailand surged ahead with a 16-10 lead from powerful attacks that put down the disorganised defensive stance by the Koreans. Thailand managed to keep the gap at the end of the first set 25-20.

Korea improved on their blocking and gradually established a lead. The strong serve and excellent counter-attacks from captain Lee brought the Koreans back in the game. Thailand called timeout but Lee continued with her excellent display of attack that capped the second set 25-19 in favour of Korea.

The third set started with a series of deadlocks until Thailand strengthened their defence on young Korean star Lee. Thailand built an 18-13 lead that forced Korea to call a timeout. Korea managed to cut the lead to within one point at 21-20 but were not able to pull through as Thailand raced first 25-22.

Korea played the chasing game against Thailand in the fourth set but the Thais successfully supressed the momentum of their opponents and secured match victory 25-21.

“Our players have been working hard to correct their mistakes and they felt very much relieved after this match,” Thailand coach Jarun Niemtuptim said. “Korea played very well too, but we played according to our plan, so we won the match.”

In the last two matches of the day, Japan swept India 3-0 (25-7, 25-13, 25-13), while Hong Kong registered their first win against Turkmenistan 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-12).


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