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Kazakhstan and China top pools with unbeaten record at 4th AVC Cup for Women

China No. 11 Liu Yanhan spikes against Korea's double block
Shenzhen, China, September 9, 2014 - The pool round at the 4th AVC Cup for Women was completed here yesterday at the Shenzhen Universiade Center Indoor Stadium, featuring Kazakhstan and China, who held on to unbeaten records.

Korea tasted their first loss in their battle against hosts China in the last match of the day, and ranked second in Pool A. Vietnam also pocketed their first victory over Iran, taking third place, while Iran finished last in Pool A with a 0-3 record.

In Pool B, Japan were second behind Kazakhstan with a 2-1 record. Chinese Taipei were third, followed by defending champions Thailand, who finished with an awkward winless run. 

Kazakhstan 3-2 Chinese Taipei
Kazakhstan came from 0-2 behind to beat Chinese Taipei in a 2-hour five-set thriller. The set score was 3-2 (20-25, 24-26, 25-16, 25-20 and 15-10).

Chinese Taipei started the first set well, taking a 5-2 lead by scoring from service and counterattacks. Kazakhstan did not do well in first passing, resulting in inefficient first-round attacks. Chinese Taipei took this advantage and widened the score difference to 16-10 at the second technical timeout. Although Kazakhstan caught up at 18-20 by strengthening their blocking, their errors gave Chinese Taipei the first set 20-25.

The second set was very close. Though Chinese Taipei led in 11-8, Kazakhstan then came back to 15-15 and even reversed the score to take a 22-20 lead, with an especially strong performance from No. 3 Anarkulova. However, Chinese Taipei built on their strong defense at key moments and narrowly took the second set 26-24, following several successful blocks.

With nothing to lose, Kazakhstan started the third set well and took a 9-5 lead, profiting from powerful spikes from the two wings. Chinese Taipei were not able to continue their efficient attacks, and the gap was widened. The set ended 16-25, with a service error by Chinese Taipei.

In the fifth set, Chinese Taipei put several attacking tactics in place to avoid their opponent’s block. The strategy worked well for a while, as they once took a lead at 11-9. But the “Great Wall” of defense put out by the Kazakhs was not easy to break down, and Chinese Taipei were unable to escape the pressure. With a spike by No. 3 Anarkulova, Kazakhstan took one more set 25-20.

In the next set, Kazakhstan played harder and with more spirit. They kept a small lead all the way to 8-7, which they followed with a 7-3 run, sealing the set 15-10 and completing a memorable victory.

Both teams matched each other in scoring from spiking and in making the most of their opponent’s errors. The big difference was in blocking, as Kazakhstan scored 17, while Chinese Taipei managed just 3.

No. 11 Chen Wan-Ting - captain of Chinese Taipei - contributed 33 points in front of the taller Kazakhs, ranking as the best scorer of the match, but in vain. No. 1 Mudritskaya Tayana of Kazakhstan bagged 23 points.

Japan 3-0 Thailand
Japan recovered soon from their loss on the opening day and harvested their second win 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-23) against Thailand after beating Chinese Taipei on Sunday.

Playing in similar styles, with quick combination work, both sides raced each other in the first set to a 24-24 tie. Thailand were not able to score from their first-round attacks, while Japan grabbed two points in a row from the counterattack and block to finish the set 26-24.

Japan started the second set with a 5-2 run, making the most of errors by their opponents in first passes. Despite Thailand’s return to a 10-10 tie, Japan found the way to restrict their first-round attacks and gradually took the upper hand. The set ended 25-17.

Thailand fought to their best of their ability in the third set, and led all the way to 19-14. Thailand again stopped scoring, while Japan sneaked three points, narrowing the difference to 17-19. Better ability in catching key points again helped Japan conclude the set 25-23, following an 8-4 run.

Thailand made 24 errors in total compared to 14 for Japan, which decided the trend of the match. The best scorer of the match was No. 18 Kongyot of Thailand, with 19 points. Japan’s top scorer was No. 10 Itoh Nozomi, who contributed 12 points.

Iran 1-3 Vietnam
Vietnam tasted their first win after beating Iran 3-1 (25-20, 24-26, 25-20, 25-20). 
Both sides came into tough play in the beginning, and Vietnam took a small lead with 8-6 at the first technical timeout. In the middle of the set, Iran met resistance from Vietnam, as they relied on their right forward too much. Vietnam were able to widen the gap to 14-9 and maintain that advantage until the end of the set.

Vietnam kept up their momentum in the second set, and began with a 4-0 run. Vietnam’s mistakes increased after the second technical timeout (16-11), letting Iran approach to 19-20. Iran seized the chance and successfully reversed the set, winning it 26-24 following another mistake in attack by Vietnam.

Spurred by the second set, Iran started the third set with a 5-1 run and reached the first technical timeout with an 8-4 lead. Vietnam recovered quickly and replied with a 12-3 run. Vietnam secured the third set 25-20.

Vietnam did not give Iran a chance in the fourth set, which they captured 25-20, thus registering their first win in the pool round.

China 3-0 Korea
The eagerly awaited match between China and Korea was followed by over three thousand spectators, and the hosts did not let them down by conquering the Koreans in an unexpected 3-0 win (26-24, 25-22, 25-22).

Visitors Korea began with an 8-4 run. Seemingly awakened by the hit and cheer on by the spectators, China made their way back into the match to a 14-12 lead after the first technical timeout, through a series of brutal blocks. The match reached its biggest score difference at 21-15, but China then had difficulties with first passing. The smart Koreans seized the chance and quickly chased to a 24-24 tie. China managed to resist the pressure and secured the first set 26-24, following a clear spike by No. 11 Liu Yanhan.

China accumulated confidence from the first set and started the second well, reaching a 4-1 lead. The Koreans, led by captain No. 10 Kim Yeonkoung, were always able to catch up, whenever falling three to four points behind. Again, China were better at grasping the crucial points, however, and after a 21-21 tie finally took the second set 25-22.

Despite lagging 6-8 behind at the first technical timeout in the third set, China quickly recaptured the initiative from their opponent’s errors and their destructive serves. After the second technical timeout, marking 16-14 in favour of China, the hosts did not give Korea another chance, and the match was ended 25-22 by No. 11 Liu Yanhan’s powerful attack.

The best scorer of the match was Korea’s captain No. 10 Kim Yeonkoung, who scored 25 points but did not bring hist team victory. China had three players contributing over 10 points, who were No. 6 Yan Ni, No. 11 Liu Yanhan and No. 8 Zhang Changning with 15, 15 and 13 points respectively.

The 4th AVC Cup for Women 2014 will resume with the quarterfinals round on Wednesday, after one day rest. 

Match Results (Pool Round)

September 6
12:00 Japan - Kazakhstan 0-3 (23-25, 23-25, 18-25)
14:00 Chinese Taipei - Thailand 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 17-25, 15-13)
16:00 China - Vietnam 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-12)
19:30 Korea - Iran 3-0 (25-11, 25-11, 25-13)

September 7
12:00 Chinese Taipei - Japan 0-3 (20-25, 16-25, 17-25)
14:00 China - Iran 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-22)
16:00 Thailand - Kazakhstan 0-3 (20-25, 22-25, 17-25)
19:30 Vietnam - Korea 0-3 (13-25, 16-25, 19-25)

September 8
12:00 Kazakhstan - Chinese Taipei 3-2 (20-25, 24-26, 25-16, 25-20, 15-10)
14:00 Japan - Thailand 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-23)
16:00 Iran - Vietnam 1-3 (20-25, 26-24, 20-25, 20-25)
19:30 China - Korea 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-22)

Match Schedule for Quarterfinals round (Local times)

September 10
12:00 Korea - Chinese Taipei
14:00 Vietnam - Japan
16:00 Iran - Kazakhstan
19:30 China - Thailand


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