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China to face Korea in final of AVC Cup for Women

No. 9 Lee Dayeong of Korea sets for a back-row spike by No. 10 Kim Yeonkoung while No. 4 Kim Heejin makes a feint attack
 Shenzhen, China, September 12, 2014 – Kazakhstan suffered their first loss in the AVC Cup for Women as Korea won to reach the final against hosts China, who overcame Japan 3-0. China beat Korea 3-0 in the pool round.

Kazakhstan 0-3 Korea 
Kazakhstan were able to remain unbeaten as Korea won the semifinal 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-21). The first set witnessed the Kazakhs take a 5-1 lead by taking advantage of their opponents’ unsteady receiving. After getting accustomed to Kazakhstan’s playing style, Korea matched their 5-1 run to level at 6-6. Korea were three points ahead at 14-11 on good blocking against Kazakhstan’s wing spiker. The Kazakhs made several errors under the pressure of Korea’s resolute blocking and Korea finished the first set 25-18. Korea maintained their momentum to the second set and Kazakhstan did not find a good solution to Lee Jaeyeong and Kim Yeonkoung. The score went from 8-4 at the first technical timeout to 16-9 at the second and Korea wrapped up the second set with an ace serve. With nothing to lose, the Kazakhs put up a desperate struggle in the third set. Improving their blocking against Korea’s left forward, Kazakhstan took a 6-3 lead in the beginning and sustained it to 11-7, forcing Korea to call a timeout. The Koreans returned to the court recharged and it became a tight match. At 21-20 in favour of Korea, the Koreans sped up with a 4-1 run to finish off the match. Korea’s captain, Kim YeonKoung, bagged an impressive 30 points, while No. 3 Anarkulova Sana only pocketed 10 for Kazakhstan. 

China 3-0 Japan 
China did not have too much trouble from Japan and booked a straight-sets win (25-18, 25-19, 25-15) to set up another meeting with Korea in the final. After an even opening phase, China geared up in the middle of the set and went ahead, relying on the spikes of Zhang Changning and two ace serves by Wang Qi. China’s superior spiking, serving and blocking helped them claim the first set 25-18. The two sides were level at 5-5 at the beginning of the second set, but Liu Yanhan’s block helped China reach the first technical timeout 8-6 in front. Japan’s poor receiving gave China opportunities to counter-attack and Yan Ni’s direct kill boosted China to an 11-7 lead. Japan were not able to score easily against China’s blocks and were eight points behind at the second technical timeout. Japan closed to within four, but could get no closer. China did not give Japan any chance in the third set and they led all the way from a 4-0 run in the beginning to 8-5 in the first technical timeout, 16-6 in the second and 25-15 in the end. The best scorer in the match was Zhang Changning of China, who harvested 21 points, followed by her teammates Liu Yanhan with 13 and Yan Ni with 11. Japan’s best scorer was Nozomi Itoh with nine points. 

In the 5th-8th playoffs, Thailand gained their first win against Vietnam in a hard fought three-setter (25-23, 25-22, 27-25) while Chinese Taipei overturned Iran 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-16). 


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