Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 13, 2017 – Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and hosts Thailand registered their first wins on the opening day of the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall on Saturday.
The tournament, which is being held from May 13 to 21, serves as the Asian qualification tournament for the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship in Slovenia from September 10 to 17. Only top two teams from the Asian meet will make the cut for the World Championship.
Chinese Taipei thrashed Sri Lanka for first win
Chinese Taipei claimed their first win following a comfortable straight-set 3-0 (25-15, 25-14 ,25-10) victory over Sri Lanka in Pool C on Saturday.
Chinese Taipei’s head coach Ming Hui Lin expressed his satisfaction over his team victory after the match,“ I am quite satisfied with my team but they still need some improvement. We will try to get better in each match. My girls are still young and they didn’t play well in the first set. But I tried to let them play and things got better in the next two sets,” he said.
“We trained only three weeks before this tournament because some of my players just finished from playing at the university and high school competitions. Against Australia on Sunday, I think it is going to be a tough game. They are a very tall team. We have to try to put pressure on them with our good serves and spike touch,” he added.
Wang-Ling Tseng and Tzu-Ya Chen contributed 10 points each for Chinese Taipei, while Senewirathna topscored with only 5 points for Sri Lanka.
Malaysia outclassed New Zealand with convincing victory
Malaysia proved too strong for New Zealand to power past the unfancied rivals in comfortable straight sets 25-23, 25-12, 25-12 to taste their first win in this top-flight tournament
Low Mei Cing became a backbone of Malaysia as she scored a match-high 13 points consisting of 12 kills and one ace serve. Ngin Jia Ning and Wong Wee Yan added 6 points each. Anillise Fitzi led New Zealand with 7 points.
“It was our first match of the tournament, so my players played nervously in the opening set. We missed so many points on reception. Then we regrouped and adjusted something with our game plan. My setter played well and our confidence was boosted in the next two sets,” Malaysia’s head coach Dato Moh Wung Ming said.
Kazakhstan survived Australia’s comeback efforts to win exhausting five-set battle
Kazakhstan kicked off their campaign with a gruelling five-set 25-13, 25-15, 23-25, 22-25, 15-11 victory over Australia.
“This is my first experience as a coach of the Kazakhstan national volleyball team. It is very important for us to grow up as a team. We played well in the first two sets, but the Australians came back in the third and fourth sets. In the last set, we learned that Australia wanted to win, but we were just lucky to finally win this match. I am very glad for my girls’ victory today,” Dzianis Matsveyeu, head coach of Kazakhstan, said after the match.
Yekaterina Sakharova emerged as the Kazakhstan’s top scorer with 15 points. Polina Kostiva added 13 points. Emma Burton scored a team-high with 18 points including 13 kills and 4 blocks for Australia.
Thailand delighted home fans with scintillating win over Hong Kong
In-form Thailand pulled off a convincing 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-9) victory over Hong Kong in their Pool A opener on Saturday.
Chatchu-on Moksri collected 14 crucial points for the host side, while Pimpichaya Kokram added 10 points. Ho Kin Yiu led Hong Kong with 10 points.
“My girls played nervously in the first set as this is their first big tournament. We tried to adjust ourselves in the following two sets and things got better. There are still some communication problems between the setter and attackers, so we will go back to train harder. We have yet to think how far we can go in this tournament, but we will try to win one match a time. Thanks to the Thai fans who cheered for us and we will try our best in this tournament,” Thailand’s head coach Nataphon Srisamutnak said after the match.
Tran Thi Thanh Thuy steered Vietnam’s sweep of Uzbekistan
Vietnam, powered by 187cm-tall Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, bagged their first win following a comfortable straight-set 25-14, 25-17, 25-16 victory over Uzbekistan in Pool B.
Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who is playing in Vietnam national women’s team, topscored with 16 points for Vietnam. Duong Thi Hen and Dang Thi Kim Thanh added to the team’s tally with another 11 and 9 points respectively. Saida Allamova led Uzbekistan with 9 points.
“We don’t have enough preparation for this tournament as we trained only one week before coming here, but I am quite happy for my team’s victory today. We will next play Japan tomorrow (Sunday) and I think it will be a tough match. We will try our best,” Vietnam’s head coach Japanese Irisawa Hidehiro said after the match.
On Sunday, Thailand will play Macao, Vietnam will go up against Japan, fourth place at the previous edition in the Philippines two years ago, while Sri Lanka will challenge Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei take on Australia and Iran will be pitted against Malaysia.
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