IRAN SEAL 3-1 VICTORY OVER HONG KONG IN ASIAN WOMEN’S U19 CHAMPIONSHIP OPENER
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, June 10, 2018 – Iran recovered from the first-set down to beat Hong Kong in four-setter 19-25 25-13 25-18 25-18 in the opening match of the 19th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium here on Sunday.
Aytek Salamat scored a match-high 23 points including 19 kills from 61 attempts for Iran, while Chan Hoi Ying led Hong Kong with 14 points.
Iran, fielding tall players whose height average is 187cm against the smaller-built Hong Kong’s 171cm, produced powerful attacks in the first set, but Hong Kong played a solid defence to foil the Iranian efforts. Hong Kong took the set 25-19.
Iran, strengthened by hard-attacking Aytak Salamat, made a successful comeback in the second set, taking the advantage of the Hong Kong’s poor reception and errors-riddled game for the comfortable win 25-13.
The third set saw Hong Kong take the upper hand to lead 15-13, but Iran turned up the heat on the rivals, clawing their way back to catch Hong Kong at 15-15. With a series of explosive crosscourt spikes from Aytak Salamat and Mona Ashofteh, Iran made short work of the rivals to snatch the comeback set 25-18.
The fourth set apparently turned out to be a totally one-sided battle from the very beginning as Iran played more consistently to race to a 8-0 lead and stretch it to 11-1. However, Hong Kong regrouped and hit back to narrow the margin 17-18 before Iran turned things around positively and continued their great form to win the set 25-18 and match.
“Hong Kong are strong with good service and reception. They cooperated well in fighting us. We next play Australia. They are very tall and powerful. Our serves must be good enough to overcome their blocking. We will do our best. We trained together for nine months in preparation for this championship. We selected the best players from a total of 114,” Iran head coach Vadi Ebrahim said.
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