LIU YANHAN STEERS CHINA TO 3-0 DEMOLITION OF FIGHTING CHINESE TAIPEI
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, September 17, 2018 – Devastating China made it two in succession at the 6th AVC Cup for Women after putting it past gallant Chinese Taipei in a thrilling three-setter 25-14 25-20 25-22 at the Chartchai Hall here on Monday.
Liu Yanhan chipped in with 22 points for China including 20 kills from 43 attempts,while Zheng Yixin added 16 points. Wang Meiyi scored 8 points including a team-leading 4 blocks. Lee Tzu-Ying led Chinese Taipei with 11 points.
China, fresh from crushing Vietnam in a one-sided battle in their opening match the previous day, fielded a formidable line-up led by terrific Liu Yanhan, who joined the Chinese senior women’s national team for this year’s VNL campaign and who won the MVP and Best Outside Spiker awards at the 2015 Asian Women’s U23 Championship in the Philippines, and the 194cm-tall Gao Yi, another player in the China’s VNL squad. The rivals were represented by the Chinese Taipei’s Asiad team, which finished 9th in Jakarta, Indonesia.
China made an explosive start in the first set, with Liu Yanhan and Zhang Yichan on fire throughout the game to put the defending champions in front with a 12-point clear at 20-8. Chen Tzu-Ya and Lee Tzu-Ying tried to bring Chinese Taipei back on track, but the Chinese side continued their onslaughts. After a brief fightback from the smaller-built rivals, China, whose height average is 185cm against the Chinese Taipei’s 173cm, cruised comfortably to win the set 25-14.
Going down one set, Chinese Taipei upped their tempo to gain an upper hand initially in the second set, which they took an early 3-1 lead. China roared back with exceptional attacks from Liu Yanhan and Zhang Yichan and solid blocks by Zheng Yixin and Wang Meiyi to meet them at 3-3 and changed the momentum in the set since then. The Chinese stretched the lead to 20-14, but Chinese Taipei did not give up easily. They put their acts together and hit back bravely to score three successive points to trail with three points behind at 17-20. Still, China proved an impossible nut to crack as they remained in dominant form to take the hard-fought set 25-20.
In the third set, Chinese Taipei coach Yao Cheng-Shan shuffled his line-up a lot to find the right formula in an effort of matchiing China tactically and technically. However, the rhythm still was with the Chinese side as Liu Yanhan and Zhang Yichan guided their team to the commanding lead with a 7-point advantage at 20-13. Chinese Taipei put up a gallant fight to score some crucial points. Their comeback efforts bore fruits handsomely as they successfully closed out the margin at 21-21, thanks to their splendid teamwork and combination plays. However, the Chinese still had enough in the tank to hold them off and capture the thrilling set 25-22 and match.
“We played today much better than the previous match against Vietnam as we had improved some tactics before playing Chinese Taipei. However, despite the win, I think my team have to improve our back-row defence. Although we now capture the top spot in Pool B, we have to try our best in the next matches. To get good results in this tournament, we have to improve our form every day,” China head coach Shi Hairong commented after the match.
With two straight wins, China top Pool B with 6 points and will have a rest day on Tuesday
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