NEC RED ROCKETS SETTLE INTO ASIAN WOMEN’S CLUBS SEMIFINALS WITH 3-1 WIN OVER CMFC
Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, July 16, 2018 – Japan’s NEC Red Rockets secured the last semi-finals slot at the SMM 2018 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship with Monday’s 3-1 victory (25-15, 25-18, 19-25, 25-15) against CMFC at the Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace.
Setter Shiori Tsukada ran her offense with good distribution of plays, enabling five hitters to score in double-digits. Nanami Hirose was the best scorer for the winning club, but CMFC’s Tzu-Ya Chen led all scorers in the field with 15 points.
NEC Red Rockets Takayuki Kaneko said “It was a good match against Chinese Taipei because we played out many long rallies and they did really well. We lost the third set but knew that we had to come back and win the match.”
Japan’s NEC Red Rockets established their game plan at the start, utilizing Hirose at the flank and Kaori Ueno at the middle. They ran their offense quickly as expected, and played good defense. CMFC showed that they could play at par with their opponents. They set up T.Y. Chen and Wei-Hua Wu on attack, and converted successfully. The Japan club took 16-12 at the second technical time-out and started serving with pressure. They played with good rhythm on attack and defense all the way to a 25-15 result in the first set.
By the second set, CMFC needed to look for fresh solutions to their plays. Yi-Cing Lo connected from the left side, while Ya-Hui Chiu stood by the middle. The Chinese Taipei side equalized at 15-15, but momentum swung towards the Japanese as they reverted to loaded serves. Later, NEC Red Rockets’ captain Mizuki Yanagita launched from the left side to deliver a heavy swing that sent out a clear message of their dominance. The Japan club closed off the second set at 25-18 with another service winner.
In the third set, CMFC opened up their offense and firmed up their defense. They tried to play in the level and quality as their opponents, playing well in first and second line defense, and patiently composing their counter-attacks. T.Y. Chen and Y.C. Lo at the wing and Mei-Cing Low at the middle made for CMFC’s spread-out offense. The Japanese side’s Misaki Yamauchi and Hirose supported the team’s scoring input, but CMFC better handled the breaks of the game, to win 25-19 in the third set.
By the fourth set, NEC Red Rockets looked to tire out their competition’s reception. They targeted their opponents’ main hitters. CMFC responded well in reception and passing, but squandered their chances with errors in attack. With this, the Japan club slid into a 15-10 lead. The Chinese Taipei side summoned in their substitutes to help arrest the situation. However, Hirose and Yanagita continued to spark the Japanese side’s offense while CMFC lost grip of their composure. NEC Red Rockets took the final set at 25-15.
NEC Red Rockets will meet host team Altay on Tuesday, July 17 at 18:00 local time for the semi-final round.
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