CHINESE TAIPEI SERVE 3-0 WIN AGAINST AUSTRALIA
Almaty, Kazakhstan, May 18, 2018 – Chinese Taipei captured a straight-sets win (25-17, 25-20, 25-21) against Australia on opening day of the AVC Qualification for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace on Friday.
Wan-Ling Tseng was the best scorer with 9 points, including six aces that proved key in Chinese Taipei’s victory.
“I was not really thinking of anything special about this. It was just something that I could do to help the team today,” said Tseng.
Chinese Taipei started the match, sticking to their usual strengths of quick plays and good floor defence. This enabled them to post good counter-attacks, even against clearly taller opponents. Australia tried to keep up with this pace and showed they could organize their offense quite well. Jennifer Sadler and Caitlin Bettenay took charge of the wing, while captain Beth Carey held the middle.
Chinese Taipei coach Cheng-Shan Yao opted for a more aggressive approach to his offense and brought in Ching-Hsuan Huang to strengthen the left side. Australia later suffered to errors in attack, which only gave more momentum to Chinese Taipei. Hsin-Yu Huang, who was also called in from the bench, delivered a block that sealed the first set at 25-17 for the Chinese Taipei side.
By the second set, the Australian frontline organized their block quite well, and they needed to capitalize on this as one of their strengths. Rebecca Reeve was a vanguard at the left side, connecting in both block and attack. Shannon Winzer’s squad took a 17-15 lead, comfortable enough given the tight race. Back-to-back blocks with Katarina Osadchuk up front stretched the momentum for the Australian side, to reach 20-15.
Chinese Taipei imposed pressure on their serve and picked up six quick points, to gain a 21-20 lead. Middle blocker Wan-Ling Tseng continued to unleash aces, and closed off the second set at 25-20.
Australia took to their middle game in the third set, setting up Carey to slide right. Chinese Taipei, on the other hand, enlisted Yu Lee and Tzu-Ya Chen, and wasted no time showing their power from the flanks, for an 11-5 lead.
The Australian side staged a scoring run to take the 16-14 lead at the second technical time-out, with the combined effort of Agnieszka Kudziela and Carey’s persistence in the frontline. Tzu-Ya Chen struck from the backrow to help gain back a 21-19 lead for Chinese Taipei.
Sophie Morrow and Reeve tried to spark the Australian offense from the left side, but Chinese Taipei seized their momentum all the way to seal a 25-21 victory in the final set.
The entire Chinese Taipei squad got onto the scoring charts, which spoke well of their team spirit, but captain Li-Yun Chang felt they need to do more.
“We need to think about the mistakes we made in this match. We have to work to correct them and really improve,” said Chang.
Chinese Taipei will have one more match against hosts Kazakhstan on Sunday, May 20 at 1400h local. Australia will face the hosts on Saturday, also at 1400h local.
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