Almaty, Kazakhstan, September 22, 2017 – Kazakhstan charted a 3-1 victory against Australia (25-15, 25-6, 22-25, 25-9) as the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Championship – AVC Qualification Tournament continued on Friday in Almaty’s Balus Sholak Sports Palace.
Sana Anarkulova was the best scorer with 19 points from 15 attacks, two blocks and two service aces. Captain Radmila Beresneva (14 points), Yekaterina Zhdanova (12 points) and Alla Bogdashkina (10 points) contributed further in double-digits to power Kazakhstan’s second victory in the competition.
Kazakhstan coach Vyacheslav Shapran said “Before this match, we knew that Australia are a strong team so I told the team to play tough.”
Kazakhstan initiated the match with a good performance, showing good runs anchored on captain Beresneva and Anarkulova. Australia faced difficulty in passing the ball, given the service pressure put on by their opponents. While the host team were not entirely perfect with their passing either, they compensated well by organizing their block formation effectively. Kazakhstan took the first set, 25-15.
The hosts raced to a 10-1 advantage in the second set, as they started to gain good rhythm in their middle attack through Kristina Anikonova and Bogdashkina. Australia called for a change in setter to give their offence a renewed approach. The Kazakh side carried on being aggressive from the service area and their opponents were unable to establish their tempo. Kazskhstan finished off the second set at 25-6 with a powerful kill down the middle.
The Australian side took an 8-6 advantage by the first technical time-out of the third set. They showed better coordination setting up Jennifer Sadler on attack. They later slid back on their floor defence to allow the hosts to score off service aces. After a series of errors from both ends, Australia started applying pressure in serve to score off two aces, and closed off the third set at 25-22 with a deflection from Katarina Osadchuk.
In the fourth set, Kazakhstan ensured to swing the momentum back to their side. They set up their attacks well, served aggressively, and utilised their main advantage: their well-timed blocks. Anarkulova and Bogdashkina continued to score all the way to a strong 25-9 finish in the final set.
Australia captain Beth Carey said “Kazakhstan had very good blocks. We played against a lot of teams in Asia which are a bit smaller, and I must say Kazakhstan has very good discipline in their block, with very good form.”
Australia coach Shannon Winzer added: “In the third set, we started passing and we actually started to attack their block. In the fourth set, we approached playing the same way. However, Kazakhstan came out with renewed energy and they were simply relentless.”
Kazakhstan posted a total of 53 attacks, 10 blocks and eight service aces in the match, that captain Beresneva thought, was not an easy win at all.
“I want to commend our opponents Australia. Their players made us concentrate and work harder,” said Beresneva.
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