Surabaya, Indonesia, July 27, 2017 – Chinese Taipei toppled Australia in thrilling four sets 25-23 25-17 24-26 25-18 in their first top-eight playoff match at the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship at the Tri Dharma Petrokimia Gymnasium on Thursday.
Australia, which have already clinched a ticket to contest the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria after a runners-up finish at the AVC Qualifier Pool B at home, overpowered China in a 3-0 demolition on Wednesday and were confident of repeating the similar feat when they took on Chinese Taipei the following day,
However, things turned sour for the Australians when they could not stop Chinese Taipei’s onslaughts led by devastating left-hander Wu Tsung-Hsuan and Liu Hong-Jie. Liu came up with powerful mid-court attacks and Wu overcame the taller blockers with his exceptional spikes for the team’s 3-1 win.
Wu Tsung-Hsuan emerged as the best scorer of Chinese Taipei after bagging 16 points including 13 kills from 20 attempts. Liu Hong-Jie contributed 12 kills. Chen Chien-Chen had 3 kill blocks, with Wu Tsung-Hsuan having 3 aces. Thomas Hodges scored a match-high 25 points for Australia including 23 kills from 36 attempts.
“We played very well today, but Australia also proved that they are strong. We found it not easy to beat them. Fortunately, every player in my team did his best in defence. Ahead of the match, we saw Australia play and then watch their game on video. We also trained hard and learned their strategy. So, with good preparation, we were confident of playing them, using more quick play with combination attacks. At the recent World Championship AVC Qualifier Pool B in Australia, we went down in straight sets to Australia, We next take on China on Saturday. They are tall, but I think they are not in the best condition in this tournament. We will do our best,” commented Chinese Taipei’s head coach Yu Ching-Fang.
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