HOSTS ALTAY TAKE 3-0 TRIUMPH AGAINST PAYKAN
Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, July 11, 2018 – Kazakhstan’s Altay delighted the home crowd at Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace with Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat (25-18, 25-16, 25-17) of Iran’s Paykan in Group B of the SMM 2018 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship.
Liudmila Khabibullina bested all scorers with 16 points, from 13 attacks and three blocks. Captain Sana Anarkulova and Olga Drobyshevskaya scored in double-digits, contributing 10 points each.
Altay showed great composure in offense in the opening set with Anarkulova and Khabibullina striking from the flanks. Paykan showed that they could equal their opponents’ attacks, as Maedeh Borhani and Mahsa Kadkhoda scored for the Iran club. It was a close contest as the teams showed nearly similar markers in each skill. The host team started to add pressure in their service, with Olga Drobyshevskaya scoring off aces, to help take the first set at 25-18.
By the second set, Paykan started to find good rhythm and variety in attack. They tried to run combinations and spread their offense more. Altay retaliated by organizing their net defense tightly and continuing to serve fiercely. Drobyshevskaya likewise connected from the flank to provide more firepower. Kristina Anikonova and Heloiza Pereira were summoned from the bench and delivered in both attack and block for a solid finish with 25-16 at the second set.
In the third set, Paykan started strong by putting their frontline to good use. However, consistent play was an issue for the Iran club. The hosts capitalized on their opponents’ errors and continued to impose their dominance in block and serve, to help finish off the final set at 25-17.
Both teams reflected on Wednesday’s performance and look ahead to their succeeding matches with a positive sense of confidence.
Anarkulova said “I feel that we had a slow start today, and we were worried about this. Luckily, we were able to recover and win. The next match should be much better for us.”
Borhani said “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Today, we learned many things for sure. For now, we can try to recover, and improve in the next game.”
Paykan will face Chinese Taipei’s CMFC on Thursday, July 12 at 17:30 local time. Altay will resume play on Friday, July 13, as they face CMFC at 19:00 local time, to complete all matches for Group B.
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