Kazakhstan start with victory at the 6th AVc cup for men
Taipei, Chinese Taipei, August 9, 2018 – Kazakhstan started their journey at the 6th AVC Cup for Men on Thursday with a 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 25-13) victory over Japan at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium.
In spite of only one day for training and orientation due to late arrival until the midnight of Tuesday, Kazakhstan appeared at their first match against Japan in a strong way. They quickly established a 4-0 lead, forcing Japan to call an early timeout. However, the timeout did not make some big difference as Japan only sneaked 3 points from 2 aces and 1 opponent’s error before the first technical timeout. Things changed afterwards as the young Japanese gradually found back their confidence and pushfulness. They reversed to a 16-15 lead at the second technical timeout. But errors destroyed their effort and Kazakhstan seized the opportunity to take down the set in 25-22 following a service error by Japan.
The second set saw a adhesive situation of both sides. Kazakhstan were always chasing behind closely until they reached their 1st lead at 15-14 following an ace by Netalin Aibat. They continued to widen the gap to 19-16 with 3 points in a row. However, the stubborn Japanese strengthened their defense especially their blocks, which helped them tie the score again at 22-22 and 23-23. At the crucial moment, the setter of Kazakhstan Minakov Ivan performed a fake but tricky set, helping his team reach the set point and stabilize the morale. Following a double block, they successfully concluded the set in 25-23.
Unwilling to yield in 0-3, Japan put all out in the third set to cruise to the set point at 24-18. Kazakhstan organised strong counterattacks after the timeout and saved 3 set points. Japan had to call a timeout to interrupt the momentum and they finally finished the set in 25-21.
Although team Japan tried to have a further win in the 4th set, Kazakh’s solid blocking resisted the Japanese efforts of a comeback. Kazakhstan quickly won the fourth set in 25-13 and the match in 3-1.
With 2 losses, Japan had to bottom the group while Kazakhstan will take on Korea tomorrow afternoon to vie for the first place in Group A.
“Japan is a great team. They are good in defense and have many young and talented players. Although we had some problems due to Japanese great defense, we solved them in the later set. ” said Igor Nikolchenko, Kazakhstan head coach.
“We used a totally different starting lineup in today’s game with team Kazakhstan to make our players get more used to competition during the first couple games.” said Taiji Matsui, the head coach of Japan.
Anton Kuznetsov contributed 16 points for Kazakhstan including remarkable 13 from blocking, while Kenyu Nakamoto scored 15 points for Japan including 13 kills from 30 attempts.
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