Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, July 25, 2016 – Hosts Thailand and reigning champions China captured straight-set wins in their last preliminary matches to top Pool A and B respectively at the SMM 18th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall on Monday.
China remain unbeaten following a sensational straight-set win over Hong Kong
Title-hotshots China overwhelmed Hong Kong 25-7, 25-11, 25-12 to move into round of the last eight teams, capturing the Pool B top spot with nine points overall.
The opening set was completely one-sided as the defense-oriented Hong Kong failed in their attempts on reception to go down 7-25.
The second set started with China leading 5-3. The fabulous serves of Qian Jingwen paralyzed the receiving wall of Hong Kong and won five consecutive points for China from a 4-3 lead to stretch it to 9-3. The set reached the second technical time-out with 16-7 for China which widened the gap to 20-8. China did a great job in spikes led by Cai Xiaoqing with 11 points to close the set 25-11. Zhang Yuqian shone through her blocks and led his team to a 25-12 win in the third set.
Hong Kong coach, Fai Cheung King: “China are the strongest team in the tournament. We performed generally fine but our reception was not as good as we expected. China served very strongly which troubled our reception. (Regarding hosting) Thais are so warm and very good in organizing. The accommodation and transportation was so good. It is my second time here and I look forward to coming here again.”
Kazakhstan cruise past New Zealand in straight sets
New Zealand lost the momentum for a 0-3 (17-25, 17-25, 16-25) letdown to Kazakhstan.
The Kazakhs led initially 8-5 at the first technical time-out. With the excellent digs and a decreased number of errors allowed them to take the set 25-17.
In the second set, New Zealand started in much brighter fashion as they tried to reduce the margin. The only good possibility happened when they trailed 14-16 and there could be made no further attempt as the Kazakhs repeated the similar feat with the same margin 25-17.
At the beginning of the third set, New Zealand recovered as they equalized 4-4 but only after that lost their concentration to trail 12-16 in the second technical timeout. Alexandra Mechshninova of Kazakhstan played a major role in closing the set 25-16 as she scored best in the court with 15 points. In the end, The Kazakh juniors expressed their appreciation to Thai fans who supported them continually during the match.
Kazakhstan coach, Yelena Pavlova: “My girls concentrated well today. Half of the team have never played at international level and this is the first time they are playing here. They are growing day by day. I hope that my team will gain more victories in the next round.”
Host Thailand in awesome form after thrashing Sri Lanka in comfortable straight sets
Thailand ousted Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-8, 25-12, 25-7) in the last match of the preliminary round, fielding mostly players from the bench.
A large number of Thai supporters cheered the home team all the way as Thailand mercilessly crushed Sri Lanka 25-8 for the first-set win.
Sri Lanka had a good start in the second set as they recovered to build a four-point lead but Thailand annulled their plans by increasing the point difference to 16-7 in the second technical timeout and finally took the set 25-12.
The doors were all shut to young Sri Lanka’s juniors’ as all they did was just a couple of failed attempts resulting in no winning points as they reached the second technical time-out seeing the hosts uncatchable 6-16. The Thai team stormed on their mighty attack to win the third set 25-7. Tirawan of Thailand top scored with 15 points.
Thailand head coach, Chamnan Dokmai: “I used my B team today to gain more experience. All I asked them to do was to play a relaxed game as I was rather sure of their abilities. It worked and we won”.
At The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall
China b Hong Kong 3-0 (25-7, 25-11, 25-12)
Kazakhstan b New Zealand 3-0 (25-17, 25- 17, 25-16)
Thailand b Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-8, 25-12, 25- 7)