progress to Women's AVC Cup semis
Almaty, Kazakhstan, September 14, 2012 – Thailand, China, Kazakhstan and Vietnam outclassed their respective opponents at the quarterfinals of the 3rd AVC Cup for Women at the Baluan Sholak Sport and Culture Palace on Friday.
THA v IRI
Thailand overcame a defensively sound Iran in straight sets (25-19, 25-18, 25-16) to advance to the semifinals. The Iranian girls showed Thailand excellent blocking and digging that caused the latter to experience some problems at the beginning of the first and second sets.
Nootsara Tomkom made some major adjustments in their attack scheme that allowed some time for all the players to get acquainted to. But once it was set in place, Thailand had no more problems towards the end.
Thailand coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai allowed his young players to take over in the third set – showing a lot of promise for their remaining matches. Sontaya Keawbundit, Ajcharaporn Kongyot and Pornpun Guedpard combined well in the set to secure the Thai victory. Onuma Sittirak topped all scorers with 21 points.
“I have given my young players the chance to play in this match and learn from playing,” coach Kiattipong said.
He also gives great importance in getting exposure for all his players at the world-level.
“Exposure is important for us and getting more experience is better if we want to play at the world-level,” coach Kiattipong added. “We need experience not just training to be able to be good.”
CHN v TPE
China posted straight sets victory (25-20, 25-8, 27-25) to overcome Chinese Taipei. China were able to pull through a tough challenge put on by Chinese Taipei in the third set to move on to the semifinals.
The young Chinese players did not play their usual dominating game as they rushed their offensive plays against Chinese Taipei who countered very well resulting to a close fight between the two teams.
China managed to regain their confidence and exhibited a flawless offensive scheme limiting the Chinese Taipei players to score only eight points in the second set. The second set blunder did not hinder Chinese Taipei’s drive in the third set as they challenged every single ball that the Chinese players sent to their side.
The final result, however, favoured China after scoring on two very crucial attacks.
“We were inexperienced and we made big mistakes in the third set,” Chinese player Yang Junjing explained. “We were rushing and Chinese Taipei were able to execute good plays. We are taking note of this and we hope to work on this together to overcome such challenges in the future.”
KAZ v JPN
Kazakhstan trounced a struggling Japanese squad in four sets (25-21, 25-21, 19-25, 25-20). The hosts presented an organised multi-faceted game while the latter seemed to be bleakly lost in orchestrating good offense against the towering Kazakhs blockers.
Kazakhstan looked mentally and physically prepared on playing as the team applied an unyielding blocking system that deflected a hefty chunk of attacks from Japan and enforced an effective counter-attack plan.
“We were totally aware of Japan’s strengths and weaknesses, so we discussed them and we prepared in advance,” Kazakhstan coach Gutor Oleksandr pointed out. “That is why our team concentrated more on putting on quality defence and quick attacks. We proved that our team organisation is our key asset.”
VIE v KOR
Vietnam became the worthy recipient of the last semifinal ticket at stake when they beat Korea in a five-set thriller (17-25, 25-23, 14-25, 25-22, 15-11). Korea had the momentum in the early stages of the match but have lost its steam and allowed Vietnam to force a tiebreaker that became the fatal blow to their stint in the competition.
Although four players scored in double figures for Korea, it was Vietnamese attacker Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa who became an absolute force at the net recording 31 points – 25 points on attacks, 5 points on blocks, and a service ace.
Vietnam’s block was difficult to penetrate and caused many problems to Korean captain Hang Song-Yi’s game.
“We worked well trying many different things but it was difficult to get around Vietnam’s block, which is their best weapon,” Han said. “We wanted to win but it did not happen. We are disappointed with the result but there is always something positive we can draw from this.”