Manila, Philippines, May 28, 2024 – Titleholders Vietnam and debuting team Kazakhstan have booked their slots to contend the coveted trophy of the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women by defeating their respective opponents during the semi-finals on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Vietnam were first to punch their finals ticket following a 3-0 defeat (25-21, 25-19, 25-16) of Australia.  Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen (24 points) and Tran Tu Linh (13 points) delivered  double-digit markers to help steer the Vietnamese toward a chance to defend the crown. They keyed in a powerful performance from the service line, scoring 10 aces, and mostly giving their opponents much difficulty in establishing their system. 

Kazakhstan earned the right to contend the 2024 trophy after taking straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-14) against hosts Philippines. The CAVA side, who are joining the competition for the first time, powered their offense at the wings with Sana Anarkulova and Svetlana Nikolayeva. They posted commendable efficiency on attack, mostly finding the weak spots in their opponents’ backcourt. They also lined up their blocks mostly by the wing, where they have found much success with deflection.

Vietnam and Kazakhstan will meet for the championship match, the main event on Wednesday at 19:00 Manila time. Australia and home team Philippines will play in the battle for bronze in the earlier match scheduled at 16:00 local time. 

In the opening match, India defeated Indonesia, 3-1 (25-16, 30-32, 25-20, 27-25), with captain and setter Jini Kovat Shaji running a well-rounded offense, utilizing all her hitters. Anusree Kambrath Poyilil led India in scoring with 21 points, but four other players contributed double-figure markers. This includes Jini, who converted with a number of express plays.  Indonesia’s young roster played well against a more experienced squad, with Junaida Santi and Bela Sabrina Agustina posting 24 points and 21 points respectively. 

Later, Iran defeated Hong Kong, China 3-1 (26-24, 26-24, 19-25, 25-19) with the help of captain Aytak Salamat’s 26-point haul. The Iranian side dominated in attack (66 points) and block (8 points) but their opponents put up such a gallant stand. Hong Kong, China played well with their serves and their patience and perseverance in transition against a much taller team. Hitter Chim Wing Lam scored a total of 24 points in the defeat. 

India will play against Iran to contend the 5th place in  Wednesday’s 13:00 match, while Indonesia and Hong Kong, China will meet in the opening at 10:00 local time to determine the championship’s 7th and 8th placers. 

Chinese Taipei closed off their campaign in the competition at 9th place, following a 3-0 victory (27-25, 25-10, 25-10) over Singapore at the nearby Ninoy Aquino Stadium. The EAVA side dominated in all scoring fronts, connecting with 46 attack points, 8 blocks and 4 service aces. Hsu Fang-Min (13 points) and Weng Tzu-Yun (10 points) delivered double digits for the victory. 

As the 2024 champions will be declared on Wednesday, the winning team will also earn the right to compete in the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup scheduled from July 4-7, 2024, also in the Philippines. The eventual winners will book themselves a slot in the Volleyball Nations League as the 2025 edition has reformulated to expand to 18 participating teams.

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