CHE, XU GUIDE CLASSY CHINA TO 3-0 WIN AND SEMI-FINALS AGAINST OLD FOES THAILAND
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, June 15, 2018 – Title-holders China, powered by terrific Xu Luyao and Che Wenhan, put it past battling Korea in hard-fought three-setter 25-16 25-22 25-22 to advance to the semi-final clash against Thailand, the team they lost earlier in pool plays, in the 19th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium.
Che performed brilliantly as she chipped in with 16 points for China including 15 kills from 29 attempts, while Xu Luyao added 15 points. Jeong Jiyun was the only Korean player who scored with a double digit with 11 points.
China had a blistering run of points under the impeccable serving of Xu, whose brilliant individual display led the Asian powerhouses to four-point lead at 13-9 in the first set. Aside from the serving machine Xu, the on-fire opposite spikers Sun Ruoqing and Jiao Dian were attacking and blocking everything at the net, handing the team an 18-13 advantage. As the rivals’ speed and movement was proving too much for China, their serves and blocking were exceptionally solid, allowing the Koreans difficult scoring opportunities. China took the thrilling set 25-16.
A tight contest came through in the second set, which China surged into a one-point advantage and Jeong Jiyun’s attack handed Korea parity at 9-9. The Chinese height advantage was playing havoc to the mighty Korean attacks and saw the towering Chinese, led by the 193 Xu and 193cm Jiao, enjoy the blocking sprees. Levelling 15-15, China combined mega attacks from Sun and Xu to find themselves two-point clear at 23-21. A spike from Park Hyemin went wide, putting the Chinese on the right track for the second-set win and Sun’s solid blocking ended the Korean challenge.
Moon Jiyun overpowered the taller blockers with her fierce attacks to help put the lower-ranked side into an 11-9 lead in the third set. The Chinese battled hard and bounced back in style to trail by two points at 15-17. Che and Xu boosted their team’s hopes when they took turns tearing the Korean defence with their towering spikes to level the score 19-19. China went on their onslaughts, shattering the Korean hopes for a comeback and took the hard-fought set 25-22 and match.
“Two teams tried their best to win this match because it was a very important match to decider the team in the semi-finals. We did our best and I’m happy that my girls went through to the semi-finals, which we will play Thailand. We lost to them in the preliminary round and in the semi-finals, we have to play more carefully. We have to avoid making unforced mistakes and will try our best to avenge the loss,” China head coach Shi Hairong commented.
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