Tianjin, China, May 26, 2015 – It was a big day for Chinese Taipei as they knocked out Vietnam 3-0 and joined Thailand, Korea and China to enter the semi-finals of the 18th Asian Sr. Women’s Volleyball Championship. The recent record of Chinese Taipei at top 4 of Asian Championship would be dated back to 1997. They will challenge strong Koreans in the semi-finals while host China play against Thailand.
Chinese Taipei b Vietnam 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-19)
Both sides stuck to each other from the beginning highlighting threatening attacks by both Chen Wan-Ting of Chinese Taipei and Ha Ngoc Diem of Vietnam. After the first technical time-out, Chinese Taipei had the chance to widen the gap to 13-7 due to their opponent’s successive errors in defense. Though committing errors and losing 3 points consecutively, they still reached the set point first following a perfect block from Lee Tzu-Ying. Vietnam failed in scoring one more point before Chen Wan-Ting of Chinese Taipei smashed a strong cross-court attack to finish the set in 25-18.
Armed with destructive serves, Vietnam came to lead the second set 3-0. But their weapons are not enough to deal with Chinese Taipei as the latter responded with an attack barrage of 5-0. Although Vietnam chased closely, Chinese Taipei managed to keep one step ahead and took another set in 25-20 with strong attacks from both wings.
The third set saw Vietnam lead the beginning again in 6-2. A timely timeout called by Chinese Taipei took effect right away as Chinese Taipei quickly equalized the score to 7-7 thanks to stunning attacks from Chen Wan-Ting and Chang Cheng-Yin, as well as efficient blocks from Tseng Wan-Ling. Vietnam insisted their struggle until 18-18 tie but in vain. A storm of 7-1 extinguished their hope and secured Chinese Taipei a 3-0 victory.
Chang Chen-Yin led Chinese Taipei with 19 points while BO Thi Minh made 8 points on a losing effort for Vietnam.
“My players played a very consistent game, no ups and downs. I can see their fighting spirit from the beginning to the end. All the players did very well even including substitutes. ” said Mr. Lin Ming-Hui, head coach of Chinese Taipei. “I hope we can beat Korea in the semi-finals and meet China in the final. ”
Thailand b Japan (25-16, 25-15, 25-14)
Recovered from the pitiful five-set thriller loss to Korea one day before, Thailand posed high pressure on Japan from the beginning with their tacit combination and killing spikes. They transformed 90 spikes to 49 points in high efficiency and 4 players bagged two-digit points led by both Onuma Sittirak and Ajcharaporn Kongyot with 16. Japan had no chance to win as they failed to cope with the steps of Thailand and even committed unthinkable 14 fatal errors, which is double of Thailand’s. In 16-25, 15-25 and 14-25, they lost the match and had to fight for their best possible fifth place at this Championship.
China b Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-11)
China brandished their superiority over Kazakhstan for another 3-0 victory and continued their record without losing one set at the Asian Championship.
Absent from two matches previously, Hui Ruoqi again started up and collected 8 points for China.
“The recovery of Hui Ruoqi’s injury is positive. In fact, Shan Danna’s injury is more severe. But as we are coming to the final stage of the championship, everyone shall be ready for the match.” said Lang Ping after the match.
An omnipotent mode was opened by China from the beginning, which overwhelmed Kazakhstan in all aspects. Kazakhstan could not score from spiking easily as they only sneaked 17 points from 80 attempts, nor they could restrain the opponent’s attacks, letting China bag 40 points from 76 spikes.
Zhu Ting led China with 14 points followed by Zhang Changning with 9 while Yekaterina Zhdanova of Kazakhstan picked up 8.
“Kazakhstan improved a lot from last year. We prepared 100 percent for this match. Our aim was to win this match and prepare for the semi-finals.” said Hui Ruoqi, captain of China.
China will meet Thailand, their first-ever strong opponent so far in the semi-finals.
“We had some specific training before the Championship. I am confident with our immediate adaptability when facing Thailand tomorrow. ” she added.
“Thailand’s performance is very stable. They have very good chemistry. Ajcharaporn Kongyot and Hattaya Bamrungsuk are improving fast. But we are also improving. We will turn into the tempo of playing against strong teams. We are ready for tough games. ” said Lang Ping, head coach of China
Korea b Iran 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-17, 25-14)
It is proved in this match that Kim Yeonkoung is indispensable to team Korea as they even lost the second set to Iran in absence of Kim most of the time.
However, it could not be denied that Iran had a very good performance. They played without pressure, producing constant troubles to Korea with their sharp attacks and occasional tricky balls. It was a fake set that helped Iran finish the second set 25-22 as Korea, having Kim Yeonkoung back on court, was chasing closer and closer from 10-16 to 22-24.
Taking no risk, Korea kept Kim Yeonkoung on court in the following two sets, which tipped the balance in their favour for sure although Iran continued making disruptions.
Kim Yeonkoung had another prolific scoring night for Korea with 22 points, while Borhani Esfahani led Iran with 12 points.
In the other two matches held in Tianjin Polytechnic University Gym, India capped Philippines 3-0 (27-25, 25-13, 25-20) while Australia prevailed Mongolia 3-1 (25-20, 24-26, 25-15, 25-19), keeping them still in the running to finish ninth, equal to their performance of two years ago.
Match schedule (Local Time)
12:00 Iran – Vietnam
14:00 Kazakhstan – Japan
16:00 China – Thailand
19:30 Korea – Chinese Taipei
Tianjin Polytechnic University Gym
12:00 Mongolia – Philippines
14:00 India – Australia