Chinese Taipei to play India for 5th place at the 17th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship
Chinese Taipei 3-0 Sri Lanka
It is the second time the two teams meet in the competition, Chinese Taipei beating Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-7) in pool round action. With their chemistry improving in every match, Chinese Taipei dominated the underdogs and harvested another straight sets win 3-0 (25-10, 25-9, 25-12), ensuring a spot in the 5th-6th final of the 17th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship.
It was a very one-sided match, with each set lasting just 18 minutes. 1.64m No. 14 Lo Yi Ching of Chinese Taipei scored 15 points, followed by No. 16 Huang Ching Hsuan and No. 18 Chang Li Ting with 11 and 9 points respectively. Sri Lanka's best scorer was No. 4 Kavisha, with only 7 points.
“I am glad that my team was able to play a relaxing game after stressful games against Japan and Korea. We will place emphasis on receiving and fast execution of offensive strategies for future games.” said Mai Chien Chung, head coach of Chinese Taipei.
India 3-2 Kazakhstan
The second match of the semifinals for 5th-8th was played between India and Kazakhstan, who ranked 6th and 7th two years ago in the 16th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship. Both teams locked in five dramatic sets, with India eventually winning the 100-minute battle at 3-2 (21-25, 25-9, 19-25, 25-19, 15-12).
India started the game with a two-point lead coming from Kazakhstan’s errors. But they committed serving errors in return and the score stayed tied till 5-5. Kazakhstan, who had a height advantage, gradually controlled the set as they stormed India with spikes and serves. The gap was widened from two points at the first technical timeout to seven at the second. India tried to make adjustments through timeouts and substitutions and it worked. However, it was too late for India to catch up before Kazakhstan concluded the set 25-21.
The second set was a totally different story in which it seemed Kazakhstan had lost their chemistry. They made many mistakes and were not able to organise efficient attacks. On the other side of the court, India, led by their captain No. 14 Nirmal, played to their own rhythm. They took an early lead 3-0 and kept ahead all the way to 8-2 and 16-6. Kazakhstan gave the second set up to India at 9-25, following a strong spike from No.14 Nirmala of India.
India brought momentum to the third set and took an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout. Kazakhstan made their way back to a 14-14 tie, however, following the timeout. Spurred on by the outstanding performance of their captain No. 8 Popova, the whole Kazakhstan team displayed their teamwork and blasted to the end of the set at 25-19.
In the crucial fourth set, Kazakhstan continued to organise their offense around their captain Popova and they managed to take a tiny lead at 8-7 and 11-10. They tired, however, and made several mistakes in the next few minutes while India seized the chance to run ahead to a 14-11 lead. Kazakhstan called an emergency timeout, but were unable to reverse the set's trend. More errors followed and Kazakhstan lost the fourth set 19-25.
The fifth set followed a similar but shorter pattern. The two teams tied from 2-2 to 8-8. Kazakhstan were once again overwhelmed by their errors, however, and the powerful spikes from No.14 Nirmal of India. Sadykov Nurlan, head coach of Kazakhstan, called two timeouts at 8-10 and 11-14, attempting to bring his team back into the set. India, however, were on top of their game and ultimately sealed the set 15-12, despite Kazakhstan’s best efforts.
India captain No. 14 Nirmal scored a high 34 points and was the key to India's victory. “We were not stable in today’s match. But we played very good combinations in the 4th and 5th set.” said Mr Balachandran, head coach of India.
On the other side, Mr Sadykov Nurlan, head coach of Kazakhstan, expressed his regret, “We had good opportunities to win, but we made too many mistakes today.”
Sri Lanka, who ranked 13th in the last edition of the U19 Asian Championship held in 2012 in Thailand, will fight for the 7th place against Kazakhstan at 11.00 on Thursday. India will take on the hosts Chinese Taipei for 5th place.