Ha Nam, Vietnam, September 16, 2015 – China League champions Zhejiang, title-holders Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs and Bangkok Glass captured scintillating wins on the last day of the pool round-robin preliminaries of the 2015 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Ha Nam Gymnasium on Wednesday, as Taiwan Power and Zhejiang made a clean sweep to top their Pool A and Pool B respectively.
Debutantes Zhejiang outclassed the Philippines Super Liga Grand Prix champions Petron Blaze Spikers in thrilling straight sets 25-15 25-14 25-20 in Pool B.
Li Ying led Zhejiang with 11 points, 10 of which through her attack hits, while Aleona Manabat-Santiago scored a match-high 14 points including 11 kills from 23 attempts for Petron Blaze Spikers.
“We played well in the first set and after that we changed a few players from the substitutions. We just wanted our best players to have a rest and prepare for the match of the next round. Now, we top Pool B and are likely to take on Vietnam’s Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank. I’m confident that my team will beat them as we have the better quality. We try to do our best one at a time in this competitive competition,” commented Wu Sheng, head coach of Zhejiang, after the match.
Also winning their last Pool B preliminary encounter on Wednesday were Japan’s Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs, which stunned China’s Tianjin to win the Asian Women’s Club title at the previous edition in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. The Japanese team overwhelmed Iran’s Islamic Azad University in a totally one-sided battle 25-13 25-6 25-15.
Nana Iwasaka led Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs with nine points, five of them through blocking. Rika Nomoto led the spiking skill with seven points, assisted by imported Tatjana Bokan from Montenegro with six points. Maedeh Borhani Esfahan collected 10 points for Islamic Azad University.
“Rika Nomota did a great job in this match. We did a little change of players. We want to be a little bit more stronger and that’s for a good game we did today in this match against the Iranians. We are second in Pool B and might take on Kazakhstan’s Zhetyssu in the next match. They are very tall and we have to learn how to cope with fighting with the taller players and how to attack the high blockers. If we happen to beat the Kazakh team, we will do our best to win the semi-finals for a place in the final. After that, we will give all out again to win the final and the title,” Kato Yoichi, head coach of Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs, commented after the match.
The last match on Wednesday saw Thailand’s Bangkok Glass power past hosts Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank in straight sets 25-12 25-14 25-21 in Pool A.
Wilavan Apinyapong led Bangkok Glass with 19 points including 13 kills from 28 attempts, while Bui Thi Nga collected eight points for Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank.
“Everyone played well according to the strategic plan, just a few mistakes my players made including blocking. Wilavan (Apinyapong) produced good blocking today. However, I’m happy that we served much better than our previous matches. I replaced Rassamee (Supamool) with Sutadta (Chuewulim) and she did a good job. Our next match will be against DPR Korea’s 4.25 Sports Club. They have been competing as a team for a long time and they also trained overseas in Europe. Therefore, they should be a strong team to be reckoned with,” Bangkok Glass’ head coach Kittipong Pornchartyingcheep commented after the match.
“If we can keep our standard like we did in this match against the Vietnamese, I think we can beat the Koreans. However, we will try to do our best one at a time. We have to firstly aim at the round of last eight teams. If we beat the Koreans, we then eye for a higher target. I wish my team made it to the latest round.”
At the completion of all nine participating teams in their pool round-robin preliminaries on Wednesday, Taiwan Power of Chinese Taipei top Pool A with eight points from straight three wins, followed by Bangkok Glass with seven points from two wins against one loss. Kazakhstan’s Zhetyssu came in third place with three points from one win against two losses. Hosts Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank did not win a match to finish fourth in Pool A.
Zhejiang captured the top spot in Pool B with 11 points from consecutive four wins against no loss. Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs collected 10 points from three wins against one loss to finish second in the pool. The 4.25 Sports Club from DPR Korea had six points from two wins against two losses to claim the third place, with Petron Blaze Spikers finishing fourth place with three points from one win against three losses. Islamic Azad University did not win a match to finish fifth in Pool B and crashed out from the competitive competition with a ninth position overall.
Thursday will be a rest day. The competition will resume the following day in the cross quarter-finals, with the Pool A winners taking on the fourth place of Pool B and the team finishing second in Pool A pitted against the team finishing third in Pool B and vice versa.
Therefore, the quarter-finals on Friday will see Taiwan Power take on Petron Blaze Spikers, Bangkok Glass challenge 4.25 Sports Club, Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs play Zhetyssu and Zhejiang meet Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank. The winners will next advance to the semi-finals, with the losers relegated to the 5th-8th classification round.
POOL ROUND-ROBIN PRELIMINARIES
Bangkok Glass (Thailand) b Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank (Vietnam) 3-0 (25-12 25-14 25-21)
Hesamitsu Seiyaku Springs (Japan) b Islamic Azad University (Iran) 3-0 (25-13 25-6 25-15)
Zhejiang (China) b Petron Blaze Spikers (Philippines) 3-0 (25-15 25-14 25-20)
TEAM RANKING AFTER POOL PLAYS
- Taiwan Power 8 points
- Bangkok Glass 7 points
- Zhetyssu 3 points
- Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank 0 point
- Zhejiang 11 points
- Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs 10 points
- 4.25 Sports Club 6 points
- Petron Blaze Spikers 3 points
- Islamic Azad University 0 point
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015
2pm: 1A-Taiwan Power (Chinese Taipei) v 4B-Petron Blaze Spikers (Philippines)
4pm: 2A-Bangkok Glass (Thailand) v 3B-4.25 Sports Club (DPR Korea)
6pm: 2B-Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs (Japa) v 3A-Zhetyssu (Kazakhstan)
8pm: 1B-Zhejiang (China) v 4A-Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank (Vietnam)