Tianjin, China, May 3, 2019 – Over 3,000 spectators cheered hosts Bohai Bank Tianjin prancing into the semi-finals following a convincing 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-15) victory against Vietnam’s VTV Binh Dien Long An in the last quarter-final encounter of the 2019 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Wuqing Sports Center on Friday.

Liu Xiaotong, domestic aid from Beijing Auto, chipped in a match-high 17 points, followed by Li Yingying and Gong Xiangyu, domestic aid from Jiangsu Zenith Steel, with 14 and 10 respectively. The trio just returned from the China national team training camp on Sunday.

Against the taller-built Tianjin team, VTV Binh Dien Long An made best use of their quickness to disorder the hosts’ defence. Tianjin replied with their condescending spikes but could not surpass the Vietnamese until 15-15 tie due to their often unforced service errors. Left-hander Li Yingying came forward with two killing spikes and one ace to help Tianjin seize the narrow 18-16 lead. And following a clean double spike by Wang Yuanyuan and captain Yao Di, the host side seemed to find their rhythm to block the Vietnamese, as the latter could not score easily. In spite of committing another two errors, the hosts won the first set 25-21 safely following a scintillating spike by Li Yingying.

Showcasing their supremacy, Tianjin firmly controlled the second set as they led all the way from the beginning to 8-4 and 16-8 at technical timeouts. The Vietnamese tried several dips to score but it was not enough to fill up as the hosts soon achieved their second set victory 25-17.

The third set saw Vietnamese run out of their “ammunition” to contend against the hosts till 15-15 tie. Armed with more “weapons”, the hosts, led by Li Yanan and Liu Xiaotong, subdued the opponents 25-15, amazingly bagging 10 points in a row.

“In the first set, our reception and service were not that good. Also we had many service mistakes. We should move quickly and find the proper time to cover and defend. In the second set, I replaced Li Yingying with Wang Yizhu to give her more chances. We wanted to disperse our attack points and it worked out. In our next match on Saturday, we will make good plans, giving full play to our strength and showing our best spirit,” said Chen Youquan, head coach of Bohai Bank Tianjin.

“The Vietnamese team did well in dropping and defense. We had a good cooperation and communication in training after the return of three China national team members. So we are more powerful now than before. Japan team are good at quick attacking. We should work more on defense. We have to play to our strength.” said Li Yanan, middle blocker of Bohai Bank Tianjin.

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