Bac Ninh, Vietnam, June 11, 2018 – Australia produced a fantastic comeback 3-2 (15-25 15-25 25-23 25-21 15-12) victory over Iran in the exhausting 127-minute encounter to bag their second win at the 19th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium here on Monday.
Caitlin Tipping scored a team-high 17 points for Australia including 14 kills from 31 attempts and Hannah Karrasch added 10 points. Aytak Salamat led Iran with 17 points.
Australia, content with the first 3 points they obtained from the 3-1 win against Macao the previous day, led from the beginning, using powerful attacks from Caitlin Tipping for a narrow 8-5 lead, but Iran battled their way, with Artak Salamat overpowering the tall rivals with her fierce spikes and Zohdi Zhra and Fatemeh Enayat in good combinations. The Iranians caught the Aussies at 12-all and did not look back to win the easy first set 25-15.
Iran still lived up to their initial expectation of giving their all-out efforts to beat the Aussies. As the rivals’ game was riddled with unforced spiking and serving mistakes, Iran continued their impressive form. They mixed the offensive combinations of Zahra Salehi’s fast spikes and deadly spikes from Aytak Salamat and Mona Ashofteh with solid blocking by Aytak and Jahani Bahnamiri Roghayeh for the set win with the similar margin 25-15.
Tiaan Smith and Caitlin Tipping gave Australia a strong comeback in the third set, while the Aussies played with more determination and confidence to grab the close set 25-23.
A set win boosted the Aussies’ morale as they continued their great form in the fourth set, which they chased from trailing 14-16 to catch the Iranians at 16-all and went on their attacks to win the set 25-21.
In the decider, Iran raced to a 8-3 lead, but Australia were just never-say-die as they served, boosted and attacked well to win point by point. Catching the Iranians at 9-all, the Aussies remained in form to narrowly beat the rivals 15-12 and match.
“We always play a hard match against Iran. However, we are very happy for that result. We made a very poor start, but we finished very well. In the first two sets, we played nervously and my girls did not stick to our game plan. But after that, they played with courage. Gradually, we gained confidence learning that we still had chances. We are willing to try something as we learned that Iran started to attack and we were also attacking and that’s what we need to do if we want to win. Against Hong Kong in our next match, it’s gonna be a tough match. They beat us in U18 last year, but we have to prepare well. If we can control the ball well, I think we have a chance of attacking. I’m confident we can fight well against Hong Kong,” Australia head coach Boris Georgieff commented after the match.
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