CHINESE TAIPEI SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST WITH 3-1 BLITZ OVER KOREA
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, September 19, 2018 – Chinese Taipei lost them all in the pool round-robin preliminaries, but their 3-1 (18-25 25-20 25-15 26-24) victory over Korea, their first win at the 6th AVC Cup for Women, really mattered as it earned them a crucial berth in the Friday’s semi-finals.
Tseng Wan-Ling chipped in with 18 points for Chinese Taipei including 15 kills from 31 attempts, while Go Yerim scored a team-leading 24 points for Korea.
Chinese Taipei, fielding a full team which finished a disappointing 9th place at the recent 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, have yet won a match heading to the quarter-finals. They went down 0-3 to indomitable China before suffering a 2-3 loss to Vietnam to finish third in Pool C, while Korea sent a young team led by sensation Ha Hyejin.
Both sides played a tough game in the first set. Ha Hyejin and Go Yerim set an early pace for Korea as they took turns puncturing the Chinese Taipei’s defence with their sharp blows, but Chinese Taipei blocked well and counter-attacked to level at 12-12. After that, Korea showcased their resilience to win several crucial points. Although Chinese Taipei attempted to stage a fightback, their determination did not pay its dividends. Korea took the first set 25-18.
Going down one set, Chinese Taipei put their acts together and started to dominate the whole game in the second set. With Chang Li-Yun and Lee Yu helping the team survive the rivals’ scare, Chinese Taipei stayed in front with a 4-point clear at 16-12 and played more confidently after that. Spectacular attacks from Huang Ching-Hsuan and Huang Hsin-Yu and effective blocks from Huang Ching-Hsuan and Tseng Wan-Ling stretched the lead to 21-14. Chinese Taipei stormed on at that point to win the set 25-20.
The third set turned out to be a one-sided battle as Chinese Taipei performed brilliantly to lead from start to finish with the 25-15 win.
In the fourth set, Chinese Taipei gained the upper hand initially to take the early 14-11 lead before the on-going game turned a tense battle and Chinese Taipei never looked comfortable since then. With the formidable rivals hot on their heels, Chinese Taipei started to rally behind the efforts of Tseng Wan-Ling and Huang Ching-Hsuan. Both sides gave it all-out to win the set, with the Koreans needing another life in the fifth. However, Chinese Taipei denied what the rivals have longed for, as, after the score levelled at 24-24, they grabbed two straight points to win the hard-fought set 26-24 and match.
“I’m satisfied with my team’s performance. Our service reception and defence are the improved strategy for the effective attacks against the Koreans. Yesterday, we did many things to keep our players cool down. With good concentration, I believe that it can help us beat Korea and it worked out well today. We next will play Japan. We will do our best to beat them,” Chinese Taipei head coach Yao Cheng-Shan commented after the match.
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