Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, May 31, 2017 – Thailand’s Supreme VC captured the crown at the SMM 2017 Asian Women’s Club Samruk Kazyna Volleyball Championship by beating Japan’s Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs 3-1 (25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 25-13) at the Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace.
Supreme VC’s coach Nathapon Srisamutnak felt elated to win Wednesday’s final match to book their ticket to the 2018 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship as the Asian champions.
“We are just so happy to be able to have a chance to go to the World Club Championship. It will be our first time to compete,” Nathapon said.
It was a close contest in the opening set, with both teams establishing their offensive rhythm. Supreme VC’s Fatou Diouck quickly went to work from the wing, with Genevieve Mann at the middle. The Japanese side relied on Yuka Imamura and Akane Ukishima on attack. The Thai club soon posted aggressive defence at the net to prevent further scoring from their opponents. Supreme VC secured the first set, 25-15.
In the next set, Supreme VC showed how they could compete against a team traditionally known for quick-paced offence. The Thai side enabled Chatchu-on Moksri at the wing and Pleumjit Thinkaow for the middle attacks. Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs defended well against this and set up their own brand of speedy offence.
Teams traded points and sustained rallies to entertain the crowd, but the Thai team took a slight advantage with 16-13 at the second technical time-out. Supreme VC seemed to have broken down their opponents’ defensive form. The Japanese club fought back to equalise at 22-22 with an ace from captain Risa Ishibashi. But Diouck was invincible in attack, to help Supreme VC take the second set 25-23.
Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs needed to vindicate themselves in the third set. They did this by setting up Imamura and Hikari Kato. However, their attack errors brought Supreme VC up front 8-7 at the first technical time-out. Chatchu-on converted with more points on attack, and the Thai side’s blockers showed a commanding presence at the net. Supreme VC increased the lead to 16-12 at the second technical time-out. The Japanese side slid back to equalise at 20-20. They persisted with a well-timed block and a service ace to seal the third set at 25-23 in their favour.
Supreme VC rushed to a 12-6 lead in the fourth set with Diouck and captain Wilavan Apinyapong taking charge. Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs trailed behind as they could not sustain their defence against the sharp quick attacks of the opponents. The Thai side surged to a 25-13 win in the final set.
Supreme VC’s Diouck bested all scorers with 23 points, while Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs’ Kato scored 20 points.
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