Press release

Asian Women's Club champs begin in Vietnam

China's Tianjin Bridgestone try to block against Kazakhstan's Zhetyssu but it is the latter who pick up the win on the first day of competition

Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, June 19, 2011- The 2011 Asian Women’s Club Championship kicked off on Sunday at the Vinh Phuc Gym in Vietnam with victories for home side Thongtinlienviet and Japan’s Kensyokai Red Hearts in Pool A,  and Thailand’s Chang and Kazakhstan’s Zhettyssu in Pool B.  

The winner of the tournament’s 12th edition will qualify for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championships, to be held in Qatar later this year.

Pool A
Thongtinlienviet Bank of host country Vietnam routed Shakeys of the Philippines in three sets (25-12, 25-18, 25-8) as spectators filled the venue to near capacity to rally behind the Vietnamese cause as captain Hue Pham Kim showcased her offensive brilliance with 13 points. Minh Do Thi and Yen Pham Thi likewise shared scoring duties for Thongtinlienviet Bank with unchallenged attacks at the net. Shakeys captain Cherry Rose Macatangay could only manage to score eight points as the Philippines mostly struggled with its reception miscues.

In an earlier match in the Pool,  Kensyokai Red Hearts of Japan outlasted Perspolisse of Iran in five sets (23-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-16, 15-10). The Iranian club started well, matching their opponents’ usual fast-paced brand of play. Perspolisse relied on a strong frontline, with Masoomeh Angooti fielding in powerful attacks from the left flank. Japan bounced back in the succeeding set by utilizing combination plays mostly anchored on Yuki Nagano. Perspolisse recuperated in the third set by manning the net with their formidable blocking stance but suffered from reception mishaps in the fourth. Not even Angooti and Zahra Vahedi’s combined total of 29 points could help their cause. The Japanese rallied early on in the decider by capitalizing on what they do best: playing fast. Nagano finished off the match with a total of 16 points, with Japanese compatriot Haruka Ohnishi helping out with another 12 points.  

Pool B
Titleholders Chang took only 57 minutes to mount a straight sets-victory against Garuda of Indonesia (25-10, 25-15, 25-16). Pleumjit Thinkaow brandished her fiery offensive moves and led Thailand’s Chang club with a scoring contribution of 17 points. Setter Nootsara Tomkom masterfully orchestrated Thailand’s plays, expanding the team’s scoring options well beyond its formidable frontline. Wanitchaya Luangtonglang soared from the backrow with scoring gems to help the Thais with 11 more points. Garuda Indonesia mainly set their plays to Maya Kurnia Indrisari, which the Thais easily calculated and warded off with solid blocks.    

The final match for day one of competition featured a five-set thriller between Kazakhstan’s Zhetyssu and China’s Tianjin Bridgestone. The Kazaks eventually prevailed (25-15, 20-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-13) in the hopes of vindicating their runner-up finish in the previous edition.  Lyudmila Anarbayeva  stood tall not only with her 192cm stance, but also with her scoring total of 18 points. Much help on the Kazak side came courtesy of captain Tatyana Pyurova, Olga D. Olga and Korinna Itshimtseva who combined for 36 points. Crucial to the Kazak victory was the team’s commendable floor defence, as both liberos offered quality minutes by digging excellently. Tianjin Bridgestone’s captain Yin Na came to forge a total of 21 points, but it was not enough to sidetrack Zhetyssu’s mission to win.

Day 01
Summary of Match Results
Kensyokai Red Hearts (JPN) b Perspolisse (IRI) 3-2 (23-25, 25-17, 19-25, 25-16, 15-10)
Chang (THA) b Garuda (INA) 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-16)
Thongtinlienviet Bank (VIE) b Shakeys (PHI) 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-8)
Zhetyssu (KAZ) b Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN) 3-2 (25-15, 20-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-13)

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