Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, September 20, 2016 – Vietnam completed their campaign at the “SMM” 5th AVC Cup for Women at the Vinh Phuc Gymnasium here with a hard-fought five-set thriller 25-17 25-27 23-25 25-18 15-8) victory over young, inexperienced Korea to claim the 7th place at home.
Korea, the only team which have yet won a set at the week-long competition, fielded a strong line-up powered by hard-attacking Lee Young and Yoo Seoyeun, while hefty Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, powerful Ha Ngoc Diem and fast attacker Pham Thi Kim Hue were the Vietnam’s mainstays.
Vietnam, which performed superbly to overpower formidable Chinese Taipei in their pool preliminaries earlier, started well up to their standard to lead 21-15 in the first set. With Tran Thi Thanh Thuy overcoming the smaller blockers with her heavy attacks, Vietnam took the first set 25-17 without much effort.
In the second set, Korea regained their form and counter-attacked well. Lee Young punctured the Vietnamese defence with her aggressive spikes, while the host side became prone with attacking and receiving mistakes. At 23-23, Vietnam moved ahead 24-23 when Lee Young spiked it out wide, but the hosts could not take the advantage. Korea came back fast to catch up with the hosts at 25-25 and went on to win the hard-fought set 27-25, the very first set Korea won in the 5th edition in Vinh Phuc.
Korea continued their consistency in the third set when Vietnam’s nerves began to fray. The on-going game turned out to be the similar script as the second set when the score was tied at 23-23. A Doan Thi Xuan’s serve went to the net to help Korea advance 24-23 and Lee Young produced an effective drop close to the net which Vietnam were unable to retrieve. Korea bagged the closely-contested set 25-23.
In the fourth set, Vietnam roared back with mighty attacks to lead by wide margin 18-13. Korea regained the composure and hit back bravely to come close 15-21. Still, Vietnam had enough in their tank to hold the spirited rivals off. Vietnam clinched the set 25-18 for a 2-2 tie.
In the decider, Vietnam led all the way, while Korea tried to catch them and counter-attacking well. Still, their attempts were in vain when the hosts started to produce the goods. Vietnam continued their good run to capture the set 15-8, match and the 7th place, bettering their 8th-place finish the previous edition two yeas ago in Shenzhen, China.
Meanwhile, Korea returned with heads low in disappointment after taking the 8th position, their worst performance since their inception in 2008 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, where they finished second to China.
Ha Ngoc Diem scored a match-high 21 points for Vietnam including 16 kills. Tran Thi Thanh Thuy added with 16 kills. Ha Ngoc Diem also led the blocks with 5 points. Too Seoyeun led Korea with 22 points, 19 of them through her attack hits.