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China only unbeaten team at Asian Women’s Championship

Even though South Korea fought valiantly for every point, they were no match for the China team

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, September 17, 2013 – Indomitable China defeated Korea while Japan overcame the much taller Kazakhstan at the 17th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Chatchai Hall on Tuesday.

China stretched their invincibility with perfect sweep in Pool F

Title-holders China, world No.5 and silver medalists at the recent World Grand Prix, pulled off an exceptional straight-set 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-17) victory over Korea to emerge as the only unbeaten team in the prestigious tournament.

In a tough match between the two undefeated teams to determine the Pool F winners, China fielded a well-established line-up led by Hui Ruoqi, Xu Yunli and Zhang Lei, while the Koreans were strengthened by super star Kim Yeon-Koung. Teen sensation Zhu Ting is fast becoming becoming a major force to reckon with on the China team   while Korea’s 17-year old setter Lee Dayeong is also showing signs of a promising future.

China and Korea started an attack game right from the whistle in the first set. The Chinese entertained a big crowd at the venue with their terrific form. Tall Zhu Ting used her height advantage to attack devastatingly at the net to help China take an initial lead of 21-17.

The Koreans with their never-say-die attitude tried to  stay cool under pressure. Gifted Kim Yeon-Koung penetrated the Chinese defence with her explosive attacks and carried out terrific jump serves to help the Koreans narrow the gap 23-20. However, China fared much better offensively to take the hard-fought set 25-22.

Holding a one-set disadvantage, the Koreans pulled their act together in the second set, aiming to make amends for the loss in the opener. However, China performed brilliantly to foil the formidable rivals’ determined challenge. The Chinese roared back mightily with thundering spikes from Zhu Ting and scintillating blocking by the two towers, Zhu Ting and Xu Yunli, who both stand at 195cm. To no one’s surprise, China captured the next two sets 25-14 and 25-17 and the match.

Zhu Ting led China with 23 points including 17 attack hits and four stuff blocks, while Kim Yeon-Koung top-scored with 18 points for Korea.

“We are okay in this tough match against Korea,” commented China’s legendary coach Lang Ping. “In the first set, we could not predict how the Koreans would play and it was a bit difficult to play them. In the second and third set, we controlled the games. I think Korea are a strong team. They have some young players, while we have young players too. Injured Yang Junjing has yet to heal her right ankle injury. She cannot train and can’t even run,” she added.

Korea’s team manager Joo Dongwook commented about his team’s performance. “China have a very strong  height advantage. Their playing system is also good. My team tried to come up with fast attacks, but it was still not enough to beat them. We next take on Kazakhstan, another strong team. We have to rearrange our system and make ourselves best-prepared for the next match.”

Japan prove they are a class above Kazakhstan

Japan, world No.3 and the London Olympics bronze medalists, overwhelmed Kazakhstan with their power and incredible speed at the net to capture a dramatic four-set 3-1 (25-15, 25-15, 24-26, 25-12) victory over their much taller oppositions.

Japan, powered by star spiker Miyu Nagaoka, came up with great attacks and effective blocks to take the first two sets, both with a score of 25-15 and 25-15.  The 195cm Tatyana Mudritskaya allowed world No.28 Kazakhstan to make a strong comeback in the third set, which they won 26-24.

Coach Manabe Masayashi has plenty of individual talents in his squad who have tremendous abilities and are extremely fit physically.  Kazakhstan still had no answer to the Nagaoka’s powerful attacks. Japan wrapped up the one-sided set 25-12 and the match.

Miyu Nagaoka  was the center of attention when she scored a match-high of 34 points including 30 kills from 59 attempts. Inna Matveyeva emerged as the top scorer of Kazakhstan with 14 points.

Chinese Taipei sent Iran packing with straight-set win

World No.30 Chinese Taipei, smaller in size but greater in experience and form, outclassed Iran in straight sets 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-14).  

After going down to defending champions China in straight sets the previous day, Chinese Taipei tried to revive their fortunes in the top-flight tournament. With terrific southpaw Chen Wan-Ting uncorking a barrage of thundering attacks, Chinese Taipei clinched the opener 25-18.

Iran regrouped and hit back bravely, but their attempts still failed to make their mark as Chinese Taipei played an impeccable defence. While the Iranians suffered on receiving and blocking, Chinese Taipei went on their attacks to win the next two sets 25-15, 25-14 and the match.

Chen Wan-Ting led Chinese Taipei with 20 points, while Mina Roosta topscored with nine points for Iran.

Thailand delighted home supporters with sensational win over Vietnam in all-Asian battle

AVC Cup winners and world No.16 Thailand outclassed Vietnam, the team they had beaten for six consecutive times in the final round of the South East Asian Games, in straight sets 3-0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-15).

Thailand needed a straight-set win over their archrivals to make sure they stand a better chance of playing lower-ranked rivals in the knock-out round on Thursday.

Tapaphaipun Chaisri, who stands only 168cm tall, became the backbone of the Thai squad in this match against Vietnam. As hard-attacking Onuma Sittirak could not jump properly due to her right ankle injury, Tapaphaipun captured all eyes with her incredible jumping ability and guts. Thailand made a clean sweep of three sets without much effort.

Tapaphaipun Chaisri claimed 24 crucial points for Thailand, while Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa scored 10 points for Vietnam.

At the end of the pool round-robin quarter-finals on Wednesday, Japan, Thailand and Kazakhstan were tied at top of Pool E with  six points from two wins against one loss. The set ratio was taken into consideration and the three teams still had the similar performance with seven set-wins and four set-losses. The point ratio was necessarily required for the Pool ranking. Among the three, Japan had the better point ratio to top Pool E, followed respectively by Thailand and Kazakhstan. Vietnam did not win a match to come in fourth place in the pool.

In Pool F, hot-favourites China top the pool with a perfect record. They collected nine points and did not lose a set to their respective rivals. Korea came in second place with six points from two wins against one loss. Chinese Taipei with three points and winless Iran finished in third and fourth place in Pool F.

In the 9th-16th classification round of the remaining eight lower-ranked sides at the MCC Hall inside The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima, in Pool G, Mongolia outclassed Hong Kong 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17) and Australia came from behind to beat Indonesia 3-1 (23-25, 30-28, 25-14, 25-18).

In Pool H, the Philippines thrashed Myanmar 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-18), while Independent Team from India routed Sri Lanka in straight sets 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-19).

Wednesday is the rest day. The competition resumes on Thursday, with the semi-finals being on Friday and the finals the following day.

Tuesday’s results

Pool round-robin quarter-finals

Pool E: Thailand bt Vietnam 3-0 (25-11 25-15 25-15); Japan bt Kazakhstan 3-1 (25-15 25-15 24-26 25-12)

Pool F: Chinese Taipei bt Iran 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-14); China bt Korea 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-17)

Pool round-robin 9th-16th classification:

Pool G: Mongolia bt Hong Kong 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17); Australia bt Indonesia 3-1 (23-25, 30-28, 25-14, 25-18)

Pool H: Philippines bt Myanmar 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-18); Independent Team from India bt Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-19)

Team ranking

Pool round-robin quarter-finals

Pool E

Japan 6 points
Thailand 6 points
Kazakhstan 6 points
Vietnam 0 point

Pool F

China 9 points
Korea 6 points
Chinese Taipei 3 points
Iran 0 point

Pool round-robin 9th-16th classification

Pool G

Australia 8 points
Indonesia 6 points
Mongolia 3 points
Hong Kong 1 point

Pool H

Independent Team from India 7 points
hilippines 5 points
Sri Lanka 4 points
Myanmar 2 points

Match schedule

Thursday, September 19
Knock-out quarter-finals
At Chaichai Hall

11:00: Japan vs Iran
14:00: Thailand vs Chinese Taipei
16:30: Korea vs Kazakhstan
19:00: China vs Vietnam

At MCC Hall

Knock-out 9th-16th classification

11:00: Mongolia vs Myanmar
14:00: Sri Lanka vs Hong Kong
16:00: Australia vs Philippines
18:00: Independent Team from India vs Indonesia


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