Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, May 31, 2017 – China’s Tianjin Bohai Bank bested Kazakhstan’s Altay VC in a 3-1 match (20-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20) to join the podium as bronze medallists of the SMM 2017 Asian Women’s Club Samruk Kazyna Volleyball Championship.
Zhang Xiaoting scored a total of 20 points in Wednesday’s match at the Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace.
“I enjoyed playing this match with such a good atmosphere, even with the fans. But it was not easy to play against Kazakhstan. They have a lot of good players and I have a lot of respect for them. We are happy enough to win third place because we won it with an all-Chinese squad, which is very good training for us,” Zhang said.
Altay VC’s Yunieska Robles topped all scorers on the board with 28 points.
Tianjin Bohai Bank captain Chen Liyi and Yu Junwei sprung off to a solid start, attacking aggressively at the wing. Altay VC also relied on Sana Anarkulova and Robles to retaliate with the same power. As a close contest ensued, Kristina Anikonova made a strong performance in the middle, to help Altay VC win the first set, 25-20.
In the next set, the Kazakh club imposed a stronger presence at the net, to help take 8-4 in the first technical time-out. Soon enough, China’s middle attackers were doing equally well. Zhang Xiaoting connected with quick attacks and blocks to help bring Tianjin Bohai Bank up to set point. Altay VC were able to prolong the set but Zhang slid to the right for a quick attack to bring the Chinese club to 25-22 in the second set.
By the third set, Tianjin Bohai Bank attacked with even more precision, identifying well where their opponents lagged in defence. Li Ying and Yu Junwei continued to fire from the flanks, to help reach an 18-13 advantage. Altay VC came within a point (20-21) with Robles putting in the same effort, and by playing better defence, but the Chinese side prevailed to take 25-22 in the third set.
The Kazakh side needed to carefully carry out their plan of attack with minimal miscalculation in the following set. At the same time, they needed to be ready for both net and floor defence. Instead, they set off to a sluggish start with miscues on attack, which helped allow the Chinese side to lead 16-11 at the second technical time-out.
Tianjin Bohai Bank’s middle attack was getting even stronger, and Altay VC needed to address this by bringing in Olga Karpova. But momentum was on the Chinese team, as they took 25-20 in the final set.
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