Volleyball News


Bac Lieu, Vietnam, July 27, 2015 – Reigning champions Vietnam and in-form Liaoning VC of China got the 2015 VTV Cup International Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the Bac Lieu Gymnasium off to brilliant starts with each capturing straight three wins.

A total of six teams from five countries are competing in the 12th invitational competition comprising hosts and defending champions Vietnam, Nanjing University from China, Liaoning VC from  China, April 25 Sports Club from DPR Korea, Thailand U23 and the Philippines.

The tournament is being held in this coastal province of Vietnam from July 25 to August 1, with all teams taking on one another in the round-robin preliminaries. The classification will be made at the end of the preliminary matches on July 29. The competition resumes on July 31, with four teams joining the fray in the semi-finals.

Teams finishing first and fourth from the preliminary matches will fight for a place in the final round, while the teams finishing second and third places will also do likewise to battle it out for a final spot. The winning two teams will then advance to the final, with the two losing teams competing in the third-place playoff.

In their opening match on Saturday, Thailand, represented by a U23 squad preparing for the next month’s FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship at Ankara, Turkey from August 12 to 19, fought hard against Liaoning VC before going down in hard-fought three-set thriller 22-25 22-25 22-25. The Thai team lost Pimpichaya Kokram, one of the team’s key players following her left ankle injury in the tough battle against the formidable Liaoning.

Also tasting their first victory on home soil was Vietnam when they kicked off their title defence with a comfortable 25-16 25-18 25-15 win over the Philippines.

The third match of the Saturday’s meet saw April 25 Sports Club from DPR Korea in superb form to brush off unfancied Nanjing University in straight sets 25-14 25-10 25-21.

On Sunday, the second day of the competition, Thailand, fielding a strong lineup including hard-hitting Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Hattaya Bamrungsuk, setter Pornpun Guedpard, Chutcha-on Moksri and Jarasporn Bandasak, all of them joined the national senior team for the recent FIVB World Grand Prix, had a little problems in thrashing the Philippines in straight sets 25-10 25-13 25-21.

Liaoning from China and hosts Vietnam continued their unbeaten run, with the former powering past April 25 Sports Club of DPR Korea 25-22 25-23 25-19 and the latter mercilessly crushing Nanjing University 25-14 25-18 25-15.

The third-day highlights on Monday saw Vietnam, cheered on lustily by a large crowd at the Bac Lieu Gymnasium, make it three in a row. The hosts set up a thrilling clash against Thailand U23 team in a rematch of the last year’s final showdown.

Nevertheless, Vietnam, offensively strong with the likes of national spikers including Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa, Do Thi Minh, Ha Ngoc Diem and Bui Thi Nga, attacked powerfully and blocked effectively to pull off a dramatic 3-1 (25-22 25-19 23-25 25-20) victory over the Thais, who were prone with several unforced attacking mistakes.

Also clinching their successive three wins on Monday were Liaoning VC following their scintillating 25-14 25-23 25-17 victory over Nanjing University in an all-Chinese affair, while April 25 SC from DPR Korea proved too strong for the Filipinas to outclass the lower-ranked rivals in straight sets 25-4 25-13 25-16.

At the completion of the first three days, title-holders Vietnam stay at the top of the overall standing with 9 points from straight three wins, followed by Liaoning VC from China, the only team not losing a set to their respective rivals, with the similar 9 points from three wins.

April 25 SC from DPR Korea remain in third place with six points from two wins against one loss. Thailand are in fourth position with three points from one win against two losses. Nanjing University from China and the Philippines were the two teams not winning a match to have no point so far to come in fifth and sixth places respectively.

On Tuesday, Vietnam will take on Liaoning VC to determine the lone leaders at the overall standing, with Nanjing University challenging the Philippines to fight for their first win in this invitational tournament. Thailand U23 will also be pitted against the April 25 SC to battle for the third place in the preliminaries. The round-robin competition continues through Wednesday, while Thursday will be the rest day.

Saturday’s results

Liaoning (China) b Thailand U23 3-0 (25-22 25-22 25-22)

Vietnam b Philippines 3-0 (25-16 25-18 25-15)

April 25 Sports Club (DPR Korea) b Nanjing University (China) 3-0 (25-14 25-10 25-21)

Sunday’s results

Thailand U23 b Philippines 3-0 (25-10 25-13 25-21)

Liaoning (China) b April 25 Sports Club (DPR Korea) 3-0 (25-22 25-23 25-19)

Vietnam b Nanjing University (China) 3-0 (25-14 25-18 25-15)

Monday’s results

April 25 SC (DPR Korea) b the Philippines 3-0 (25-4 25-13 25-16)

Liaoning VC (China) b Nanjing University (China) 3-0 (25-14 25-23 25-17)

Vietnam b Thailand U23 3-1 (25-22 25-19 23-25 25-20)

Match schedule (local times)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

1pm: Nanjing University (China) v the Philippines

3pm: Thailand U23 v April 25 SC (DPR Korea)

5pm: Vietnam v Liaoning VC (China)