FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship


Volero Zurich surprise Guangdong Evergrande with 3-1 win

The host kept the upper hand in blocking with 14 winners to 7 on China’s side.

Zurich, Switzerland, October 10, 2013 – Host Volero Zurich started their first FIVB Women’s Club World Championship campaign with an impressive 3:1 win (26-24, 25-21, 29-31, 25-21) versus Asian champions Guangdong Evergrande. In front of 2.000 thrilled spectators, Jan de Brandt’s team proved too strong for the Chinese.


Best scorer of the match was Volero Zurich’s Kenia Carcaces with 28 points. Ting Zhu contributed 25 points for Guangdong Evergrande. The host kept the upper hand in blocking with 14 winners to 7 on China’s side. With 6-1 aces, the local players were also the better servers tonight.


In front of 2.000 thrilled fans in Zurich’s Saalsporthalle, the local heroines jumped out for a 16-14 lead in the first set. At 18-14, Kenia Carcaces added another winner to Volero’s records to force Guangdong Evergrande coach Lang Ping calling her ladies off court. Yunli Xu responded with a remarkable block kill for China to come closer at 17-19. Volero kept momentum until 24-20, but could not conclude. Guangdong saved four set balls before the Swiss finally prevailed. Megan Hodge hammered the Mikasa in the net. The first set featured a hard battle between outside hitters Ting Zhu and Natasa Osmokrovic with 7 points each.


The Chinese still struggled with team cohesion early in the second set. Mainly the incorporation of Megan Hodge caused major problems. Lang Ping sent in Juliann Faucette for Hodge but could not stop the Volero express at that moment of the match. The hosts rushed to a 20-15 lead with Natasa Osmokrovic and Kenia Carcaces on fire. The Chinese blockers did their best to stop the strong Volero hitters but where not good enough. Carcaces ended the second set in Zurich’s favour with a well-timed tip in Evergrande’s no-women's-land.


Two sets down, the team of Lang Ping needed a quick reaction to keep their hopes for a second win alive. Lang Ping’s players kept calm and progressively put more pressure on Volero Zurich’s defense. It seemed as Guangdong had gained momentum now. Nevertheless, a 24-21 lead was not enough for Evergrande to conclude. The Swiss bounced back to 24-24 with the set balancing on a knife’s edge until 30-29 for China. With their ninth (!) set ball, Ting Zhu found a gap in Volero’s block to bring the Chinese back on track.


However, the Chinese comeback did not last for long. The hosts retook command right from the beginning of the fourth and last set. It seemed as Volero’s coach Jan de Brandt had found the accurate words for the crucial moment of tonight’s duel. The local heroines displayed a remarkable fighting spirit and quickly set the pace for an impressive finish. At 21-24, Martina Giuggi sent the Mikasa long to offer Volero Zurich a well-deserved 3:1 win.


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