AUSSIES TO SET UP ALL-OCEANIA BATTLE WITH KIWIS IN 9TH-10TH PLAYOFF
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 25, 2018 – Australia grabbed a dramatic 3-1 (25-23 18-25 25-23 25-21) victory over Hong Kong on Friday to next go up against New Zealand in the 9th-10th playoff at the 12th Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Municipality Gymnasium.
Alissa Kinkela scored a match-high 29 points including 22 kills from 47 attempts for Australia, while Lam Tsz Ching led Hong Kong with 14 points.
Hong Kong, seeking their first win in this championship, played a fast game against Australia, spearheaded by the 190cm-tall Alissa Kinkela and Annelies Jones, in the opening set, which saw both sides lock horns in a tense battle. Leads changed hands several times, but Australia took the close first set 25-23 when a Tse Lai Lam’s serve went wide.
Hong Kong made amends in the second set as they fought hard to lead from start to finish, allowing the Aussies difficult attacking opportunities to win the set 25-18.
Holding 1-1, both teams gave it all out to win the third set, but Aussies improved on their blocking and attacking, making the smaller-built rivals flat-footed in their efforts of retrieving. Leading 24-20, Australia started to lose their touch. The Hong Kong girls let loose their spikes to narrow the margin 23-24, lifting the team’s spirits when they were in the dumps. However, the delights did not last long as Brianna Mears silenced the buoyant Hong Kong with a sharp spike which went unanswered. Australia took the set 25-23.
In the fourth set, Australia remained in fine form, while Hong Kong played more carefully to avoid any hasty unforced errors. Hot on the rivals’ heels, Hong Kong came within a whisker of meeting the Aussies at 19-20, but the Oceanians still had enough to hold them off. Leading 24-21, Australia
jumped for joy when a spike from Hui Ching Divine went wide.
“It was wonderful for my girls to come back and to play after disappointment we had after we lost to India and we came back was good. We have a rest day on Saturday and play New Zealand the following day. Match against New Zealand will be full of funs, great rallies and a lot of hard matches.We did not play them at the Princess Cup, but should be a tough match here,” Australia coach Myles Roantree said after the match.
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