DPR KOREA JOIN CHINA, JAPAN AND KOREA IN SEMI-FINALS OF AVC EASTERN ZONE WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Zhangjiagang, China, July 12, 2018 – China, Japan, Korea and DPR Korea booked their semi-final berths at the 2018 AVC Eastern Zone Women’s Volleyball Championship after respectively thrashing Hong Kong, Macao, Mongolia and Chinese Taipei in straight sets on the final day of the pool round-robin preliminaries on Thursday.
The first match was a keen one as Chinese Taipei and DPR Korea had the same points in Pool B and had to battle it out to make the cut for the top 4. However, reigning champions Chinese Taipei failed to make their mark as they succumbed to straight-set loss to DPR Korea 19-25 17-25 15-25.
At the beginning, Chinese Taipei took advantage of the DPR Korea’s unforced mistakes to level at 13-13. Playing cool under pressure, Jong Jin sim of DPR Korea spiked powerfully to help her side lead 19-16 before Chinese Taipei called a time-out to improve their fortunes. Although Chinese Taipei contributed a number of wonderful attacks after the time-out, they were still unable to turn the scales. DPR Korea closed out the set with an excellent spike to take the first set 25-19.
With ample confidence, DPR Korea carried out a feast of spiking attacks in the second and third sets. Chinese Taipei tried to catch up with the formidable rivals, but the positive attitude by DPR Korea on both attack and defense allowed them no chance. The second and third sets ended with 25-17 and 25-15 in DPR Korea’s favor.
In the other Pool B encounter between Japan and Macao, the unbeaten former continued their winning streak following a convincing 3-0 (25-10, 25-12, 25-17) victory over the lower-ranked latter in only one hour.
In Pool A, Korea met Mongolia while China took on Hong Kong. Korea showed their superiority over the Mongolians to see off the less-trained rivals in straight sets 25-17 25-14 25-19 to secure a place in the semi-finals. At the same time, Hong Kong went down to indomitable China 23-25 20-25 20-25 to be relegated to the 5th-8th playoffs, leaving the Chinese to storm their way into the semi-finals.
In the first set, due to seven service and attacking errors of China, Hong Kong seized the opportunity to take an initial 16-14 lead. China recovered and roared back mightily with aggressive attacks to score six points in succession. With Yeung Sau Mei getting back on court, Hong Kong came within a whisker of winning the set after trailing narrowly 23-24. However, China grasped the crucial points at the end of the first set for the 25-23 win.
Inconsistent Hong Kong and China both tried to find a way out with different strategies and plays in the second and third sets. The score increased alternately at the beginning, however, China maintained their good run with insurmountable defense. Furthermore, the aggressive serves also helped China dominate the second and third sets, while Hong Kong fought hard to match the China’s tactics, but their attempts were in vain. China played confidently and consistently to take both sets with the similar margin 25-20 25-20, match and third victory in the top-tier competition.
Friday will be the rest day of the championship, while the semi-finals will see China take on DPR Korea and Japan challenge Korea on Saturday. Winners of the semi-finals will fight it out on Sunday night for the championship.
Hong Kong b Mongolia 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-23)
China b Korea 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 27-25)
Japan b Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-22)
DPR Korea b Macao 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-16)
Korea b Hong Kong 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-23)
China b Mongolia 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-20)
Japan b DPR Korea 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 18-25, 25-19)
Chinese Taipei b Macao 3-0 (25-6, 25-9, 25-14)
China b Hong Kong 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-20)
Korea b Mongolia 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-19)
Japan b Macao 3-0 (25-10, 25-12, 25-17)
DPR Korea b Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-15)
12pm: Mongolia vs Chinese Taipei
2pm: Hong Kong vs Macao
4pm: Korea vs Japan
7pm: China vs DPR Korea
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