Volleyball News

Tianjin, China, May 22, 2015 – The 18th Asian Sr. Women’s Volleyball Championship finished its first round of pool play here Friday marked with six straight-set wins.

Mongolia lose toJapan 0-3 (20-25, 15-25, 11-25)

Due to the withdrawal of Turkmenistan, it is the second match for both teams, determining who will rank the second in Pool C as both teams lost their first match to Vietnam. With quick and diverse play, Japan proved too strong for Mongolia to challenge even if they are a national B team in fact.

Japan took the leading position in the very beginning of the first set thanks to attacks of all directions from the No.4, No.6 and Nozomi Itoh. A double block conducted by   Sugihara wakaba and Airi Tahara contributed Japan to a 14-9 lead, forcing Mongolia to call a time-out. Although Mongolia took another 3 points afterwards, Japan firmly grasped the initiative and earned the first set point 24-19 by a destructive spiking.  Mongolia spiked off the block and saved one point but in vain as a cross-court attack helped Japan finish the set in 25-20.

In the second set, both sides acted discreetly as the score increased to 8-6 when the first technical time-out came. Gradually, Mongolia found themselves unable to catch up with the rhythm of Japan and the gap was getting bigger and bigger. The set was sealed in 25-15 following a powerful straight-line attack conducted by Japan.

Japan continued the momentum in the third set as the score gap went from 8-3, 16-5, 20-8 to 23-9. Even though requesting time-out twice, Mongolia failed to save the situation. A double block by Nozomi Itoh and Mizuki Yanagita brought the match to the end as Japan took the third set in 25-11.

The best scorer belonged to Kaori Mabashi of Japan, who scored 13 points, while  Enkhnaran Ganbold also contributed 11 points for Mongolia. Japan outclassed Mongolia in spikes (46-29) and serves (9-1), which decided the final result.

Hong Kong lose to Chinese Taipei 0-3 (8-25, 16-25, 5-25)

In Tianjin Polytechnic University Gym, Chinese Taipei took an easy win against Hong Kong 3-0 (25-8, 25-16, 25-5).

Chinese Taipei grasped the first point of the match with a powerful spike. A long rally came afterwards before Chinese Taipei finished it with a deciding attack to prove their superiority. Hong Kong always made mistakes in crucial moments, lagging themselves behind and behind, and quickly lost the first set to Chinese Taipei 8-25.

In the second set, Chinese Taipei took the leading position with a 6-0 opening. Hong Kong struggled to narrow the gap and once made it to 11-18. However, Chinese Taipei said no to them and finished the second set 25-16.

Chinese Taipei started the third set 2-0 with a strong spike and a double block. They could always find the best position and time to block as the setter of Hong Kong lacked flexibility. Without spending too much time, Chinese Taipei finished the third set 25-5 with accurate blocks.

Sri Lanka lose to Thailand 0-3 (17-25, 9-25, 4-25) 

Sri Lanka gained the first point of match with a successful double block. Thailand conducted a cross-court attack afterwards while Sri Lanka fought back with a subtle dip. Sri Lanka was able to contest Thailand in the beginning before the latter sped up as they led the set to the first technical time-out 4 points ahead. Thailand continued this momentum, leading the score to 13-5 forcing Sri Lanka to call a first time-out. Sri Lanka managed to narrow the gap as NO.8 successfully saved a ball and NO.8 performed a straight-line attack. But it was in vain as Thailand finished the first set in 25-17 with a powerful attack from Jarasporn Bundasak.

The second set started as Hattaya Bamrungsuk conducted a strong cross-court attack. Sri Lanka requested a time-out when the score approached 11-5 whereas they failed to earn one more point before the second time-out. Thailand led to the set point as NO.18 performed a powerful serving and closed the second set in 25-9 with a destructive spike.

In the beginning of the third set, Sri Lanka led the game to 2-0 before Thailand equalized immediately. Thailand led the set to its first technical time-out at 8-3 after Tapaphaipun Chaisri scored from a dip. The score gap widened continuously and Sri Lanka failed to gain one more point after the second technical time-out. Thailand kept the momentum with diverse attacks and dogged blocks. In the end, NO.12 of Thailand conducted a powerful cross-court spike, ending the final set of the match in 25-4.

Ajcharaporn Kongyot 13 points to Thailand, making her the best scorer, while LKD Wijekoon of Sri Lanka scored 7 points.

Korea b Philippines 3-0 (25-8, 25-7, 25-8)

The Philippine started the match with a strong attack while Korea returned with a series of attacks and led the score to 8-2 at the first technical time-out. The two time-outs requested did not help Philippines much due to the inferiority in coping with the destructive high attacks from Korea. Korea had chance to replace all the substitutes when the score gap went to 16 points. The bench players maintained the momentum and finished the first set in 25-8.

Korea remained the overwhelming superiority in the following two sets and managed to restrict their opponent from scoring double-digit points in each set.

The best scorer of the match belonged to Kim Heejin of Korea, who bagged 18 points, only 5 points less than the whole Philippines team.

China b Iran 3-0 (25-15, 25-9, 25-12)

It was like in the ocean of Chinese fans when team China started their warm up half an hour before the match kicked off. However the Iranians showed no fright at all. They were able to  contend the host in the beginning until 6-6 tie. Since then, China began to build a great wall on top of the net with their height and the Iranians could hardly penetrate it. After taking the lead 8-6 at the first technical timeout, China widened the score gap to 16-11 at the second technical timeout and came to the set point at 24-14 following a straight-line attack conducted by Yuan Xinyue. No. 10 of Iran saved one set point with a cross-court attack whereas they spiked out-of-bounds at the last round of the set, yielding to the host in 15-25.

China continued the momentum at the very beginning of the second set mixing with well-cooperated double blocks, offensive attacks and powerful servings, leaving Iran no choice but to call timeouts or substitutions to disturb the host team. The result was early doomed as the score gap was widened from 18-9 to 24-9. In the end, Zeng Chunlei of China ended the set in 25-9 with a cross-court attack.

Destructive attacks guaranteed the superiority of China even from the bench players while Iran failed to cope with the situation. With an ace serve, China led 8-5 to the first technical timeout of set 3. Iran could sneak several points from the mistakes of China before China over-sped to the second technical timeout at 16-7. With a powerful spike by Yuan Xinyue, China finished the set in 25-12 and took down their second match.
”Congratulations to China. They have great team work. They did better in attacks and blocks. And they are much more experienced than our players. They deserved the win,” said Mr. Barghi KH.Abbas, head coach of Iran at the post-match press conference.

“Our men’s team spent 15 years to be the No. 1 of Asia. It is only 8 years for our women’s team. We need more time to improve. ” he added.

“Iran improved fast, especially in serves and attacks. We did not do well in blocking at the beginning. I hope my player could improve their abilities in adapting to new situations quickly. ” said Lang Ping, head coach of China at the post-match press conference.

Kazakhstan b Australia 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-17)

The last match at Tianjin Polytechnic University Gym on day 3 was held between Kazakhstan and Australia, who matches each other in the beginning as the score went to 12-12 tie. Australia started to commit serving and spiking errors after the second technical time-out, facilitating their opponent to boost the morale and take the first set of the match in 25-17.

In the second set, Kazakhstan stormed to an 8-zero start before Australia called for substitution to strengthen the defense and the score came to 10-2. Kazakhstan took the leading position afterwards all the way until the end at 25-14 despite the opponent managed to pose threats by adjusting tactics and conducting consecutive double blocks.

Kazakhstan maintained the momentum and led the final set to its first technical time-out 4 points ahead. Australia positively adjusted themselves by frequently asking for substitution. It worked out for a while as Australia once chased the score to 11-13. However, Kazakhstan made best use of their height advantage and gradually widened the gap again. The set was concluded in 25-17.

Lyudmila Anarbayeva of Kazakhstan scored 11 points from 29 attempts, being the best scorer, while Georgina Rowe of Australia also scored 9. The biggest difference of both teams in statistics was spike and serve. Kazakhstan scored 39 and 11 from spike and serve while Australia only 25 and 2.

China, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea remain unbeaten so far and top their pools respectively. Iran ranked the 2nd in pool A with a 2-1 record followed by India and the absent Fiji. Japan, national B team in fact, who debut with a narrow 2-3 loss to Vietnam, had to be positioned the 2nd with Mongolia and no-show Turkmenistan queuing behind. Australia, defeated by Kazakhstan, was slotted the 3rd in Pool D above the winless Philippines.

The second round of Pool play will be staged this weekend, which will decide the top 8 teams for the quarter-finals.

Match schedule (Local Time)

May 23

Tianjin Gym

12:00 Iran – Vietnam

14:00 Thailand – Kazakhstan

16:00 Chinese Taipei – Korea

19:30 China – Japan

Tianjin Polytechnic University Gym

14:00 HongKong, China – Philippines

16:00 Sri Lanka – Australia

May 24

Tianjin Gym

12:00 Chinese Taipei – Kazakhstan

14:00 Thailand – Korea

16:00 Iran – Japan

19:30 China – Vietnam

Tianjin Polytechnic University Gym

12:00 India – Mongolia

14:00 HongKong, China – Australia

16:00 Sri Lanka – Philippines