Volleyball News

Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei, July 14, 2016 – Former six-time champions Korea tasted their maiden loss at the head-to-head clash with title-holders Iran, while Pool C leaders China continued their winning streak by powering past Pool A winners Thailand in straight sets on Thursday at the SMM 18th Taichung Bank Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship.

Korea and the defending and five-time champions Iran came across each other early at the top 8 play-offs with their unbeaten records so far. It was expected to be an intense thriller for volleyball fans. However,the score wasn’t as it was expected when  the young Koreans showed more nervousness and they were routed by the well-performed Iranian squad in straight sets (19-25, 16-25, 20-25).
Iran, armed with all their weapons, stormed towards the Korea’s side from the beginning and took control of the match . Hard-hitting Rasoul and No. 12 Amirhossein scored 13 points each for the team. Korea hardly had chance to come back although captain No. 1 Kim Jeongho top scored with 15 points.
Up to 42 points from spikes and six ace serves were made by Iran compared to 32 and two respectively by Korea.
Japan powered past Kazakhstan 3-0.
Survived from the five-set thriller against Thailand Wednesday, Japan had an easy victory against Kazakhstan in comfortable straight sets  (25-15, 25-17, 25-22) at Feng Shan Gym .
Many serves and unnecessary errors emerged from both teams in the beginning of the set. Japan gradually got ahead of Kazakhstan as they reduced making errors and played excellent teamwork. With  their effective defense, Japan took the first set easily  25-15.
Japan dominated the second set totally as they penetrated Kazakhstan’s defense with diverse attacks from No.2 Nakamoto and No.4 Suzuki. Kazakhstan No.8 Yechshenko, the top scorer of the team with 13 points, tried to lead the team to come back, but it turned out to be too late as Japan quickly finished the set 25-17.
Kazakhstan still showed their positive attitude by producing  powerful attacks to fight back in the third set, however,they still kept making errors and Japan played more consistently to finish the third set 25-22.
Former three-time champions China remain undefeated after stunning Thailand in three sets 25-18, 25-18, 25-11 .
The scores once went tight in the first set. After the first technical timeout, continuous spikes from China devastated Thailand and helped expand the score difference before the first set was ended in 25-18.
The second set started with three points in a row for Thailand. It took China a little bit to become adapted with Thailand’s tactics as they even could not stop Thailand with their triple blocks. However, it was not too late for China to claw their way back and took the second set 25-18 without any hesitation.
In the third set, mighty China did not leave any opportunity for Thailand to revive. Successive attacks by No. 4 Jiang, Hongbin and No. 7 Wang Jingyi helped China smoothly secure the third set with 25-11.
“It is the first time for us to play in the main venue. Our players were somehow not adapted to the big space of the venue. ” said Mr. Ju Genyin, head coach of China. “Thailand played well in the first two sets, and our players were a little nervous, which caused several errors.”
“It was a good training for us because we have not ever played in such a spacious court. The team need to adjust the difference in a short time,” He added.
Mr. Ju suggested that Iran are an outstanding and tough team, but he said concerning the biggest opponent in the final, “Everything is possible. Those who play stably would get the chance. ”
Meanwhile, dark horse Sri Lanka surprisingly lost to Turkmenistan in five-set thriller (23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 12-15) and will face the indomitable China in the quarter-finals.
Turkmenistan started with good attack performance that weakened Sri Lanka’s defense in the beginning of the first set. After the first technical timeout, Sri Lanka woke up and turned the scores to level in a short time. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka spiked out of the bound and Turkmenistan won the first set 25-23.
Sri Lanka spikers No.10 Sudasingha and No.4 Fernando cheered up the whole team often by scoring from aggressive spikes, while Turkmenistan player No.7 Seyitgeldiyev refused to admit being inferior. Tension in the second set made everyone get their nerves up. Before the second technical timeout, both teams were equal but the winner of this set finally went to Sri Lanka, making less errors.
After a narrow-gap win in the third set, Sri Lanka had the chance to finish the match in the fourth set. Led by No.7 Seyitgeldiyev, who finally top scored 32 points, Turkmenistan chased up from behind and unbelievably grabbed the victory of the fourth set 25-23.
In a tie-breaker, it was still Turkmenistan player No.7 Seyitgeldiyev who showed powerful spikes to get the score closer to Sri Lanka. It was out of expectation that Sri Lanka finally lost the match by three points at the end.
In the other four matches in the 9th-16th playoffs, Pakistan stormed past Saudi Arabia in straight sets 25-20, 25-22 25-17; Qatar saw Bahrain off  3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) and Australia also took a straight-set win (25-19, 25-23, 27-25) over Hong Kong, China. Hosts Chinese Taipei again presented another five-set thriller with Iraq and unfortunately they lost the match  23-25, 24-26, 25-17, 25-17 and 8-15 due to a lack of consistency.
The quarter-finals will take place on Friday. The winners of the quarter-finals will play in semi-finals while losing teams will battle for the 5th -8th. The top two teams in this tournament will represent AVC for the FIVB Men’s U21 Volleyball World Championship next year.
July 15
Kaohsiung Gym
12:30 China v Sri Lanka (Quarter-finals)
14:30 Korea v Thailand (Quarter-finals)
17:00 Iraq v Qatar (9th-12th)
19:00 Australia v Chinese Taipei (9th-12th)
Feng Shan Gym
13:00 Iran v Kazakhstan (Quarter-finals)
15:00 Japan v Turkmenistan (Quarter-finals)
17:00 Pakistan v Bahrain (13th-16th)
19:00 Hong Kong, China v Saudi Arabia (13th-16th)