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17th Asian Women's U19 Volleyball Championship prepares for semifinals

Korea No. 12 Lee Jaeyeong's spikes helped her team progress to the semifinals
Taipei, Chinese Taipei, July 22, 2014 - The quarterfinals of the 17th Asian Women's U19 Volleyball Championship were played out at the Taipei University Gymnasium, following a one-day break. Korea took a tough win against the hosts, while Japan, China and Thailand all enjoyed straight set victories to enter the semifinals.

Japan 3-0 Kazakhstan
In the first match of the quarterfinals, Japan swept the team from Central Asia 3-0 (25-5, 25-17, 25-18) in 59 minutes, defending their unbeaten record.

The first set witnessed Japan’s superiority in several aspects of the game. They scored six points in a row at the very beginning of the set. Kazakhstan were totally off the game and only scored five points before Japan closed the set.

Kazakhstan found their way back into the second set, however. They responded to Japan’s quickness with their height advantage, especially with blocks from 1.81m No. 3 Gubaidullina Tatyana, 1.83m No. 5 Altayeva Sanim and 1.82m No. 8 Popova Alena. Kazakhstan once took a two-point lead at 4-2, but Japan managed to reverse it to 8-7 at the first technical timeout. After that, the Japanese took control of the set and geared up to play out an 8-3 scenario before the second technical timeout came. Kazakhstan called a timeout at 14-21, but it did not stop Japan from capturing the set 25-17.

The third set started with serve errors by both teams. But the Japanese quickly took the lead. “We tried to hit the ball toward the two side lines with more angle and greater speed.” Japan’s setter, Misaki Shirai, explained after the match. Japan's outside hitters successfully cut through the blockers and helped the team lead all the way to 8-3 at the first technical timeout and 16-10 at the second. With victory in sight for Japan, Kazakhstan were able to pick up a few points. But Japan finally won the set at 25-18.

No. 16 Nakamoto Minami of Japan bagged 21 points and was the best scorer of the match. No. 8 Popova Alena of Kazakhstan scored 9.

“All the girls did their best. Japan are a great team. We enjoyed the game and the support from the people of Taipei. We feel good," commented Kazakhstan’s No.8 Alena Popova and No.2 libero Valeriya Markovskaya.

“It’s great to win the match and be the first to enter the semifinals. Our quick combination could be better. Our next opponent in the semifinals will probably be Thailand. It will be a tough game for us.” said Abo Kiyoshi, head coach of Japan.

Korea 3-1
Chinese Taipei
With a lot of determination and about 1000 spectators cheering them on, hosts Chinese Taipei fought hard but finally yielded to Korea 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 26-28, 25-18), waving goodbye to a place in the top 4.

Korea fielded their strongest line-up for this crucial match, including No. 4 Lee Dayeong, No. 6 Jeong Yuli, No. 7 Ha Hyejin, No. 9 Pyeon Jisu, No. 12 Lee Jaeyeong and No. 5 libero Park Heami. No. 12 Lee Jaeyeong had sat out the two matches before the quarterfinals, but now joined her twin sister No. 4 Lee Dayeong on the court.

Chinese Taipei scored a point at the very beginning of the set, but Korea quickly took control, scoring 8-4 and 16-9 ahead of the first and second technical timeouts with powerful attacks from No. 12 Lee Jaeyeong and No. 7 Ha Hyejin. Chinese Taipei attempted a comeback but Korea held on to their advantage and ended the first set 25-12.

Chinese Taipei started the second set well with an early 4-3 point lead. This did not unsettle Korea, however, who instead fought back quickly grabbing a lead at 8-5 and then 12-8. Chinese Taipei did not give up and with the louder and louder cheering, they crept up to 12-13, threatening a comeback. The Koreans increased the aggressiveness of their serves and once again pulled ahead. Chinese Taipei were unable to resist and gave away the second set 19-25 to Korea.

The third set saw Chinese Taipei play to their full potential. They reached the first technical timeout with a 8-6 lead, but suddenly were unable to go any further with Korea scoring four consecutive points. A timeout was called to restart their play, but the problem was not solved. After scoring one more point, Chinese Taipei halted once again while Korea charged ahead to a 16-9 lead. Solutions were found during the second technical timeout, and engines were restarted by No. 6 Chen Tzu Ya and No. 13 Tseng Wan Ling. Their spikes in turn helped Chinese Taipei catch up with Korea at 19-19. Korea had one chance to finish the rivalry at 24-23 but missed it. The tussle went on to 27-26, with Chinese Taipei taking the initiative all the time and finally taking the third set point after a mistake by Korea.

Chinese Taipei continued to counter the Korean team in the fourth set with their team spirit and spectators’ support. The score rose alternately to a 15-15 tie. After that, however, Chinese Taipei ran out of steam while Korea zoomed forward to capture the fourth set 25-18.

Korea's captain No. 12 Lee Jaeyeong scored a total of 21 points, and her teammate No. 7 Ha Hyejin followed with 17 points. No. 6 Chen Tzu Ya and No. 13 Tseng Wan Ling both contributed 12 points for Chinese Taipei.

“The key to our win against Chinese Taipei is good reception of serves and strong spikes. We will put the emphasis on serves in the next match - probably against China - to maintain control over rallies. ” said Kim Yansoo, head coach of Korea.

China 3-0 Sri Lanka
China put their height advantage to good use to dominate Sri Lanka in a straight sets win 3-0 (25-9, 25-11, 25-6) in only 50 minutes and joined Japan and Korea in the semifinals.

In 26 points scored by Sri Lanka in three sets, 12 were from China’s errors. Their best scorer was the 1.66m Ridmi (No. 9), who pocketed 7 points. China's top scorer was once again No. 2 Hu Mingyuan Hu, who scored a total of 14 points, with a 90% attack success rate.

Thailand 3-0 India
Thailand's match against India at the Taipei University Gymnasium also ended in a straight sets victory 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-9).

Although India took the lead at the beginning of the game, Thailand then went up 8-3 at the first technical timeout and spiked their way to 16-8 at the second despite several off-target serves. In the last period of the set, both teams snatched some points through blocking. Thailand, however, spiked with accuracy, while India’s attacks were not stable enough. The Thais finished the set comfortably at 25-12.

The second set started with a successful spike from India. Several errors in serving followed from both sides. Still, the Thais secured a lead at the first technical timeout (8-4), with a series of powerful backcourt attacks. They continued to widen the gap to nine points at the second technical timeout through swift spikes. The gap was maintained to the end of the set, though Thailand made a few mistakes in serving.

The Thais played with great speed in the third set, while India were unable to adapt. Thailand took advantage of good combination work between the setter and attackers and kept the game under control. They led all the way from 8-3 to 16-6. The set ended 25-9 with Thailand overpowering India.

Thailand won the game with 44 points from attacking, 7 from blocking, 8 from serving, and 16 from opponent’s errors. Of all the 37 points scored by India, 19 were from Thailand’s errors.

India's top scorer was No. 6 Krishna with 6 points. Thailand's No. 14 Moksri Chutchuon palmed 19 points, followed by No.12 Kokram Pimpichaya's 11 points and No.11 Srithong Wipawee's 10 points.

After securing their position in the top 4 teams of the 17th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship, the Thais can now look forward to challenging the undefeated Japanese on July 23 at 18.00 local time at Taipei University Gymnasium. Thailand’s head coach Niemtuptim Jarun said that they hope to strengthen their service and blocking to challenge Japan.

In the other semifinal match, Korea will play China at 16.00 local time.

In the 9th-15th semifinals held simultaneously at the Taipei Gymnasium, Turkmenistan lost to Macao, China, finishing 15th. Macao, China will take on Australia for 13th place Wednesday. Vietnam outclassed Iran 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-15) and New Zealand beat Hong Kong, China 3-1 (25-15, 17-25, 25-17, 25-17). The winners will play for the 9th place, while the losers for the 11th place Wednesday.

Match schedule and results (Local Time)

July 22 (Tuesday)

Taipei University Gymnasium - Quarterfinals

12:00 Japan - Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-5, 25-17, 25-18)

14:00 Korea - Chinese Taipei - 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 26-28, 25-18)

16:00 China - Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-9, 25-11, 25-6)

18:00 Thailand - India 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-9)

Taipei Gymnasium - 9th to 15th place

12:00 Macao, China - Turkmenistan  3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 28-25, 28-26)

14:00 New Zealand - Hong Kong, China 3-1 (25-15, 17-25, 25-17, 25-17)

16:00 Vietnam - Iran 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-15)

July 23 (Wednesday)

Taipei University Gymnasium - Semifinals

12:00 Chinese Taipei - Sri Lanka (5th-8th)

14:00 Kazakhstan - India (5th-8th)  

16:00 Korea - China (1st-4th)

18:00 Japan - Thailand (1st-4th)

Taipei Gymnasium - Finals for 9th to 14th place

12:00 Macao, China - Australia (13th-14th)

14:00 Hong Kong, China - Iran (11th-12th)

16:00 New Zealand - Vietnam (9th-10th)


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