Japan celebrate their victory against hosts Thailand

Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, June 22, 2024 – Defending champions Japan and China powered past hosts Thailand and Chinese Taipei in pulsating straight sets in the semifinals to set up final clash of Titans in the 15th Asian Women’s U18 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Gymnasium on Saturday.

Japan, China, Thailand and Chinese Taipei have earlier secured their places in the 2025 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U19 World Championship following their outstanding performances in the pool round-robin preliminaries of the Asian Women’s U18 Championship, from which the quartet had qualified for the semifinals. The remaining lower-ranked sides were relegated to the Classification Round for 9th-13th places.

In the Saturday’s semifinals, China powered their way past the fighting Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-16) and Japan pulled off fantastic 3-0 (27-25, 25-15, 25-16) win against hosts Thailand.

The Classification Round for 5th-8th places saw Iran outplay Kazakhstan in dramatic four sets 25-13, 23-25, 25-16, 25-13, while Korea overwhelmed Uzbekistan 3-0 (25-7, 25-7, 25-12).

In the Classification Round for 9th-13th places at Ratchaburi Gymnasium in Ratchaburi Province, Hong Kong, China took 11th place following their 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-20) win against India in the 11th-12th place playoff match, while Australia defeated Indonesia 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-20) in the 9th-10th playoff to claim 9th position. Earlier, Macao, China did not win a match to finish on bottom 13th place in the eight-day championship.

On Saturday, fired-up China, former four-time champions and the only team which have yet lost a single set to their respective rivals, remained solid in their formidable lineup led by outside hitter Zhai Yurui, opposite Yang Shuming and middle blocker Wang Aoqian in their semifinal clash against Chinese Taipei.

With Yang Shuming on fire with powerful attacks and Wang Aoqian producing efficient blocks, China dominated the first two sets. However, Chinese Taipei fought back with outside hitter Chen Yi and Wu Wen-Xuan, both of them standing similar 170cm tall, overcoming the taller blockers with their attacks. Still, their attempts did not pay their dividends when China, having height average of 185cm against the rivals’ 168cm, continued to dominate on the court and pushed forward to winning 25-21, 25-22.

Chinese Taipei pulled their game together in the third set, but the unforced mistakes started trickling in while they fought on, allowing the Chinese opportunities to turn the tide with counter-attacks and blocks. China took the comfortable set 25-16, match and the final berth.

Opposite Yang Shuming scored a match-high 18 points from 12 kills, 3 blocks and 3 aces for China. Middle blocker Wang Aoqian and outside hitter Sun Hongyun contributed 12 and 8 points respectively. Chen Yi and Chen Pin-Yu scored 11 points apiece on the Chinese Taipei’s loss.

In the other semifinal clash, hosts Thailand could not stop the Japanese onslaughts to go down tamely in straight sets.

Thailand, which captured the 22 “Princess Cup” Women’s U18 Championship at the same competition venue here to their name, fielded a strong lineup led by the 185cm-tall Supawadee Panwilai, Atitaya Kaewnok and Sasikan Kanoiu, made a good start in the do-or-die encounter against the defending and nine-time champions Japan.

Supawadee hammered an aggressive attack to bring Thailand to the set point 24-22, but they just let the win slip through their fingers. Japan did not fear and roared back with attacks to catch the Thais at 24-24 and 25-25 before winning two points on the trot for the set win 27-25.

The next two sets turned out to be one-way traffic as Thailand, though inspired by fantastic support from the stands, failed to make their mark and played erratically which cost them dear. Japan bagged the second set 25-15 and maintained their exceptional form to take the third set 25-13 and match.

Rion Chuganji delivered 18 points from 14 kills and 4 aces for Japan, while Minami Kessoku and Yuzuki Baba kept good company to add 15 and 10 points respectively.

Supawee Panwilai and Atitaya Kaewnok were the only two Thais reaching double digits in scoring against the rivals, with the former bagging 13 points and the latter adding 10.

In the Classification Round for 5th-8th places, Iran started the match against Kazakhstan with determination and confidence to take the easy first set 25-13, but Kazakhstan hit back with attacks from Aidana Zhetessova and Violetta Volga to help the team seal the deal in the hard-fought second set 25-23.

Iran had the early edge in the next two sets and with the help of some break points by opposite Mobina Karimi Bistgani, they took control and did not allow Kazakhstan scoring efforts to wrap up the third set 25-16 and the fourth set 25-13.

Mobina Karimi Bistgani chipped in massive 24 points including 23 attacks from 42 attempts for Iran, while Violetta Volga and Aidana Zhetessova scored 14 and 13 points respective on the Kazakhstan’s loss.

Iran’s domination could be witnessed in the match stats which the Iranians led in kill (46 to 42), blocks (9 to 4) and aces (8 to 2) apart from benefitting from more opponent errors (35 to19).

The match between Korea, bronze medallists at the previous edition at the same competition venue here, and Uzbekistan saw the former prove too strong to methodically tear the rivals’ defence into shreds with their exceptional attacks from Park Yeoreum, Ha Yeji and Kim Jiyoon to take a totally one-sided battle 25-7, 25-7, 25-12.

Korea had four players reaching double digits in scoring against the opponents, with Ha Yeji topscoring with 15 points from 8 attacks, 2 blocks and 5 aces, while Park Yeoreum, Kim Jiyoon and Jung A Rim scored 10 apiece. Absamatova Zebokhon led Uzbekistan with 7 points.

In the Classification Round of 9th-13th places at Ratchaburi Gymnasium, Australia took on Philippines in the 9th-10th playoff match. Australia’s main attackers rose to the occasion and thrived in the offensive system orchestrated by setter Riley Akanoa with opposite Lara Maric registering 14 points (6 kills, 6 blocks and 2 aces), Halary Hannagan and Matisse Conlon adding 9 points apiece.

Philippines was strong offensively with the likes of Denesse Daylisan and Akeyla Bartolabac, but they made the abundant unforced errors which helped the Aussies on leading way. Australia clinched the intense three-set battle 25-22, 25-18, 25-20 and the 9th position in this championship. Philippines ended in 10th place.

Lara Maric chipped in 14 points from 6 kills, 6 blocks and 2 aces for Australia, while Denesse Daylisan scored a match-high 15 points including 11 kills from 23 attempts on the Philippines’ loss.

The 11th-12th playoff between Hong Kong, China and India was also closely contested but Hong Kong, China had a final say, showcasing their talent and team spirit. With Tang Sum Yuen on fire in mighty attacks, Hong Kong, China managed to hold on to their advantage.


Winning the tough first two sets 26-24, 25-21, Hong Kong, China played consistently and confidently in the third set to lead the opponents all the way. India tried hard to come back, but Hong Kong, China foiled the rivals’ determined attempts and went on to win the set 25-20.

Tang Sum Yuen tallied 26 points from 24 attacks and 2 aces for Hong Kong, China, while Prathiba Sri Ganesan scored 12 points on the India’s loss.

Hong Kong, China finished 11th place, with India in 12th position. 







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