Volleyball News


Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, July 13, 2018 – Kazakhstan’s Altay emerged as Group B winners of the SMM 2018 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship after winning 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-23) against Chinese Taipei’s CMFC.

Heloiza Pereira and Olga Drobyshevskaya scored 17 points each for the Kazakhstan club. Altay Captain Sana Anarkulova contributed another 16 markers.  Chinese Taipei hitter Tzu-Ya Chen led all scorers with 18 points in the match.

Altay coach Iurii Panchenko relished Friday’s victory at the Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace, but reflected upon their loss in the opening set.

He said “It was not a good performance in the first set. But we did our job well in adjusting. We knew we could not simply wait for our opponents to make mistakes, but we needed to play well all throughout the match.”

Anarkulova agreed with the coach and said “We were not satisfied with our blocks and attacks in the first set, but we were able to improve our play to get this victory.”

In the opener, Altay’s Pereira started off strong, delivering her sharp swings from the right flank, while CMFC gained from the attacks of TY Chen and Ya-Hui Chiu. The Chinese Taipei club grabbed the 16-11 edge at the second technical time-out, as they seemingly had a good picture of their opponents’ defensive formation; CMFC’s hitters took to off-speed winners or tap-ins that took care of the points. The hosts inched closer (16-18) with Anarkulova operating from the wing, and Kristina Anikonova, at the middle. CMFC continued to rely on their hitters, while reaping the benefits of their opponents’ errors, to take 25-21 in the first set.

By the next set, CMFC continued to identify weak and open spots in their opponents’ floor defense, to help take an 8-6 lead in the first TTO. They, in turn, posted better coverage, which allowed them to set up their counter-attacks more carefully. Altay needed to overcome this by organizing their block formation, and opening up their offense to more options. They did so and took the lead at 18-17 with Anarkulova’s swing. The hosts took a 7-1 run, with Pereira’s attacks and Natalia Sharshakova’s block for the 25-18 win in the second set.

The home team took a 5-1 lead in the third set as Sharshakova imposed a strong presence at the middle. Drobyshevskaya likewise provided support with her attacks from the flank. Altay took a healthier lead with 16-8 into the second TTO. With their hitters and blockers continuing to pick up the points, the hosts surged into a 25-13 win.

In the fourth set, Altay earned the benefit of their opponent’s attack errors and ran into an 8-3 lead at the first TTO. The Chinese Taipei side seemed to play loose on defense, allowing the hosts to build good momentum. With a healthy 16-9 lead at the second TTO, Altay coach Panchenko called upon his bench players to render play. CMFC saved four set points by forcing errors upon the hosts. Drobyshevskaya was called back in for Altay and delivered the final swing, to seal victory at 25-23.

CMFC captain Wei-Hua Wu said “We lost today’s match but I can be happy about this somehow because Altay is a strong team. We learned many things in every skill and we can be inspired with this to do better.”


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