Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, May 29, 2017 – Kazakhstan’s Altay VC stormed into the semi-finals of the SMM 2017 Asian Women’s Club Samruk Kazyna Volleyball Championship by beating Vietnam’s Vietin Bank 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-14) at the Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace on Monday.
Sana Anarkulova bested all scorers with 14 points, but Olga Karpova also proved reliable in clutch plays for the Kazakh club.
“We are in good spirits with this win but I have a lot of respect for Vietnam’s players. I have played against them many times in the past and they play rather fast with good technique,” Karpova said.
The home team set off into a 5-1 lead at the first set, as Altay VC captain Inna Matveyeva led the charge. Vietin Bank quickly looked to their main offensive weapon Dinh Thi Thuy to score from the left wing. The Kazakh club took to their advantage in net defence, with Anarkulova and Kristina Anikonova up front. Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Xuan tried to pick up in scoring and helped save set points but the taller line-up of the Kazakh club took over to win the first set, 25- 23
Captain Nguyen Thi Xuan and Le Thanh Thuy helped improve Vietin Bank’s offence in the second set. But Altay VC’s blockers tightened their defence: Jovana Brackocevic and Anikonova stood their ground to deflect even the most carefully orchestrated plays by their opponents. The Kazakh club picked up the second set at 25-18.
Karpova further established Altay VC’s strong frontline as she scored off attacks and blocks. As the third set score read 8-8, Vietin Bank setter Nguyen Thu Hoai had to be subbed out with some pain in her right ankle. Unable to establish the right offensive tempo, the Vietnamese succumbed to the home team with 25-14 in the final set.
Kazakhstan’s Altay VC will face Japan’s Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs in the semi-final encounter on Tuesday, May 30, for the main event at 19:00.
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