Hanoi, Vietnam, July 18, 2019 – Wu Han racked up a match-high 26 points as devastating China dominated the highly-anticipated clash against hosts Vietnam in the top eight playoff match at the 3rd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship on Thursday.
China, fielding individual talents including Wu Han, Sun Jie and the two towers, 192cm Zahng Yuqian and 194cm Gao Yi, silenced the cheering home crowds inside the Gia Lam Gymnasium with their superiority over Vietnam.
More than 2,200 volleyball fans, around 250 of them were Chinese supporters, were noisily cheering their favourite teams but the host fans left the competition venue with heads low in disappointment after Vietnam went down to much stronger China in thrilling four-setter 14-25 15-25 25-23 13-25.
With the scintillating win, China remain invincible to finish top of Pool E and are due to next take on Hong Kong China in the Friday’s knockout quarter-finals. Vietnam came in second place in the pool to challenge Kazakhstan, third place in Pool F.
Wuhan chipped in with 26 points including 20 attacks and 5 blocks for China, while Tran Thi Thanh Thuy led Vietnam with 11 points including 7 attacks from 28 attempts.
China got off to a brilliant start to race to a 20-11 lead in the first set, thanks to lightning-fast spikes from Sun Jie and Wu Han, who won the Best Opposite Spiker at the 2017 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship in Mexico, where China reigned supreme. Fast spikes from Tran Thi Bich Thuy helped Vietnam reduce the margin at 13-23. Despite a brave fightback, Vietnam found it tough going and China took the comfortable first set 25-14.
China opened up their second-set battle on a positive note to stay in front with a three-point clear at 13-10. After that, Vietnam suffered on blistering serves of Yu Jiarui, who made it three in a row, and Zhang Qian. China captured the set 25-15, with Gao Yi and Sun effectively blocking a spike from Hoang Thi Kieu Trinh for the last point of China in this set.
The third set turned out to be an action-packed clash, with leads changing hands for several times. As China were errors-strewn, Vietnam fans came to life when ace spiker Tran Thi Thanh Thuy attacked spectacularly from all corners to help the host side catch up with the formidable visitors at 23-23 and after a spike from Wu went wide and another erratic play from China, the home fans shouted for joy.
However, the fourth set turned sour for Vietnamese fans as China led from start to finish 25-13, courtesy of their awesome display mixed by combination attacks and consistency.
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