Volleyball News

Ardabil, Iran, August 12, 2017 – China’s winning streak came to a halt on Saturday after going down a tense straight-set 21-25 27-29 20-25 battle to hosts Iran at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Asian Qualifier Pool A at the 6,000-seater Rezazadeh Stadium.

Iran and China have yet lost a match facing off in the Saturday’s match, with the former brushing off Korea, third place at the recent SMM 19th Asian Senior Women’s Championship in Surabaya, Indonesia, in straight sets and the latter registering two victories over Kazakhstan and Qatar.

Iran, the only Asian side which competed in the 2017 FIVB World League Group 1, and China have been tipped to be strong contenders for the last two slots on offer for Asia for the next year’s World Championship Finals in Italy and Bulgaria. Japan and Australia were the first two teams from Asia to finish top two in Pool B and secure their places in the next year’s Finals.

Hosts Iran, carrying the support of rapturous volleyball fans, took the early lead in the first set and kept total control since then to seal the set win 25-21.

China’s Argentine head coach Raul Lozano was not willing to surrender easily. He exploited some substitutions and came up with a different plan which made the second set tough for Iran. The points were interchanged between the two teams though Iran left China trailing at some moments but China hit back to tie 22-22. The exceptional performance of Ebadipour gave Iran an extra power for the hosts’ hard-fought 29-27 win.

China maintained their poise in the third set and counter-attacked well for the 7-7 tie. Lozano made the most of the time-outs with an aim of improving his team’s fortunes. Still, his determination did not bear fruits. Iran closed out 16-12 at the second time-out and went on their winning way for the 25-18 win in the set and match, handing China the first loss of the tournament.


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