JAPAN, TAIPEI, AUSSIES AND KIWIS REMAIN UNBEATEN IN THEIR POOLS AT ASIAN WOMEN’S U19 CHAMPIONSHIP
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, June 11, 2018 – Japan keep a clean sheet entering the last day of the pool round-robin preliminaries by not dropping a set to their rivals, as Chinese Taipei, Australia and New Zealand remain invincible in their pools at the 19th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship here on Monday.
In-form Japan, five-time Asian champions and bronze medallists at the last year’s Women’s U20 World Championship in Mexico, played a tough encounter against Thailand in elite Pool A to win in straight sets 25-22 25-19 25-21.
“Thailand played well with fighting spirit. Compared with Thailand, we made more mistakes in the third set. Thailand came up with frustrations indeed. We did not play well in the third set and to me, that was dissatisfying. Between Thailand and China, I think Thailand are better defensively, but the Chinese had the greater attacks. We next take on Vietnam. If we play the host side the way we did today, we will have a difficult match. However, our players have the similar talents and I equally trust each of them. That means anyone can play for the team in the match against Vietnam,” Japan head coach Kiyoshi Abo commented.
In the other Pool A clash, defending and 12-time champions China, which captured the last year’s Women’s U20 world title, struggled to beat hosts Vietnam in dramatic four sets 25-17 22-25 28-26 25-9 to register their first win at this top-flight competition.
“Vietnam played well, especially in the second set, This win means a lot to our team because we had already lost to Japan in our first match. In the previous match against Japan, they played with high speed and we could not match them tactically, but against Vietnam, the host side played a bit slower and we then can cope well with their tactics. We next play Thailand, a team with experienced and skilful players. It should be a tough match for us, but we will try our best,” China head coach Shi Hairong commented.
In Pool B, Chinese Taipei, fresh from stunning Korea in exhausting five-setter the previous day, made it two in a row on Monday following a convincing 25-16 25-17 25-23 victory over Kazakhstan.
“We work very hard on our strategy in fighting against Kazakhstan since they are a strong team. Our middle blockers still played a vital role in lifting the team’s victory like we did the previous day against Korea. We next play India and hope that my girls will do their best. As far as I’m concerned, our match against Korea the previous day was much tougher than the match against Kazakhstan. We always lost to the Koreans. So, beating the Koreans was my players’ great job in this tournament,” said Chinese Taipei head coach Kuang Chin-Tu.
Australia continued their winning way. Fresh from beating Macao 3-1 the previous day, the Aussies 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 in Pool C.
“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, I think 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.
Meanwhile, at the Bac Ninh University Hall, Korea regained their pride lost to Chinese Taipei to trounce India in easy Pool B encounter 25-17 25-14 25-21 to claim their first win in Bac Ninh.
In Pool C, Hong Kong also left the venue with heads held high as they had a little problems in thrashing underdogs Macao in a lop-sided battle 25-14 25-14 25-13, while New Zealand grabbed their second win in Pool D following the impressive 25-19 23-25 25-21 25-20 win over Sri Lanka.
On Tuesday, the last day of the pool round-robin preliminaries, Macao play Iran, China go up against Thailand, India take on Chinese Taipei and Vietnam challenge Japan at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium, while the encounters at the Bac Ninh University Hall see Australia meet Hong Kong, Malaysia play Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan take on Korea.
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