Five strong teams claim their second wins in Asian Women’s Championship
After losing to Kazakhstan on Friday, AVC Cup winners Thailand entertained over 5,000 home fans at Chatchai Hall with an exceptional performance to defeat battling Australia in straight sets: 25-16, 25-17, 25-14.
Against Australia, who they beat in straight sets last week in the 2014 World Championship Qualification Asian Zone Final Round in Japan, world No. 16 Thailand fielded a strong line-up led by Onuma Sittirak, Pleumjit Thinkaow and Wilavan Apinyapong.
Thailand took the first two sets without much trouble (25-16, 25-17) and remained in devastating form in the third set (25-14).
Star attacker Onuma Sittirak led Thailand with 19 points, including 17 deadly spikes, while Rachel Rourke top-scored for Australia with 14 points.
“Congratulations on my team’s win,” Thai coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai commented. “We try to win every match we play; every point and every set is very important for us. Winning will enhance our confidence. Our loss to Kazakhstan in the previous match means we have the possibility of meeting Korea in the quarterfinals. As everyone knows, it’s not easy beating the Koreans. Now we have our backs against the wall. We have to play our best and try to beat both Japan and South Korea in our next matches for a brighter future in this tournament.”
Outclassed by Australia in their previous match, Mongolia played with more determination in their second match against Kazakhstan. However, they found the Kazakhs too strong and lost in straight sets: 25-22, 25-16, 25-9.
Although Mongolia are making their Asian debut, they showed they are not an easy nut to crack. The first set was very close, with Mongolia coping well with the Kazakh tactics. Hard-hitting Sukhee Purevjargal overcame taller blockers with her aggressive attacks to help Mongolia catch up with Kazakhstan at 17-17 and go ahead at 18-17. However, 195-cm smashing machine Tatyana Mudritskaya, Friday’s top scorer with 26 points, helped Kazakhstan make a successful comeback. She attacked devastatingly and blocked effectively to help the Kazakhs take the hard-fought first set 25-22 and Kazakhstan dominated the next two sets, led by Mudritskaya and Sana Jarlagassova.
Sana Jarlagassova was Kazakhstan’s top scorer with 12 points, including four aces. Sukhee Purevjargal led Mongolia with 11 points.
After the match, Kazakhstan’s head coach Gutor Oleksandr commented: “We did not start well, while Mongolia played tough against us. Actually, I think there are many good players in the Mongolia team.”
Defending champions and world No. 5 China fielded a formidable line-up led by Wang Yimei, Zhu Ting and Xu Yunli to brush off Independent Team from India 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-11) and register their second win in Pool B.
China’s top scorer was Wang with 15 points, while Mini Mol Abraham led Independent Team from India with 10 points.
Iran produced a magnificent come-from-behind 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-15) victory over the Philippines to claim their first win. On Friday, world No. 93 Iran succumbed in three sets to China.
Maedeh Borhaniesfahan emerged as the top scorer for Iran with 12 points, while Maria Tabaquero led the Philippines with 13 points.
World No. 3 Japan reshuffled their lineup before easily disposing of Indonesia 3-0 (25-6, 25-11, 25-9).
Japan coach Manabe Masayashi said his players are very tired following the World Grand Prix and the World Championship Qualification Asian Zone Final Round.
The first two sets saw Japan – fourth in the recent FIVB World Grand Prix – field team superstar Saori Kimura and hard-hitter Miyu Nagaoka, and the experienced Japanese faced little resistance from the Indonesians.
Nagaoka emerged as the top scorer for Japan with 13 points, while Amalia Fajrina Nabila led Indonesia with nine points.
Vietnam’s dreams of making the cut for the last eight teams stayed alive when the world No. 93 pulled off a sensational 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-17) victory over Hong Kong.
Myanmar fought hard against Chinese Taipei, but still found their mission of beating their speedy rivals in Pool D impossible. Chinese Taipei, led by southpaw attacker Chen Wan-Ting, utilized their power and incredible speed to win the three-set battle 25-10, 25-10, 25-17.
Chen Wan-Ting scored a match-high 15 points for Chinese Taipei, while Myanmar were led by Moe Moe San with 10 points.
With the win, Chinese Taipei have collected six points from two wins against no losses.
World No. 10 Korea enjoyed their second win, beating Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-8, 25-6, 25-7).
Kim Yeon-Koung gave Korea 10 points from her attacks, but Han Songyl led the Koreans with 16 points, including three block points and six points from her great serves. E.D.W. Madumali top-scored for Sri Lanka with five points.
Kazakhstan 3, Mongolia 0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-9)
Thailand 3, Australia 0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-14)
China 3, Independent Team from India 0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-11)
Iran 3, Philippines 1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-15)
Japan 3, Indonesia 0 (25-6, 25-11, 25-9)
Vietnam 3, Hong Kong 0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-17)
Korea 3, Sri Lanka 0 (25-8, 25-6, 25-7)
Chinese Taipei 3, Myanmar 0 (25-10, 25-10, 25-17)
Day 3 schedule
At Chatchai Hall
11am: Korea vs. Chinese Taipei
13.30: Japan vs. Hong Kong
4pm: Thailand vs. Mongolia
6pm: China vs. the Philippines
At MCC Hall
11am: Sri Lanka vs. Myanmar
2pm: Kazakhstan vs. Australia
4pm: Iran vs. Independent Team from India
6pm: Vietnam vs. Indonesia