Japan Rallies From Down 2-0 to Top Thailand, Turkey Sweeps Korea

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 07th, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Women, International Volleyball, News


  • June 5-7, 2018
  • Nakhon Ratchasimam, Thailand | Korat Chatchai Hall (Capacity: 5,000)
  • Time Zone: Indochina Time (UTC +7)
  • World Rankings: #6 Japan, #10 Korea, #12 Turkey, #16 Thailand
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  • Schedule/Results
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
5 Jun 15:05 Japan  1–3  Turkey 17–25 23–25 25–13 11–25 76–88
5 Jun 18:05 Thailand  1–3  South Korea 16–25 18–25 25–20 24–26 83–96
6 Jun 15:05 Japan  3–0  South Korea 25–22 25–14 25–20 75–56
6 Jun 18:05 Thailand  1–3  Turkey 20–25 28–30 25–18 19–25 92–98
7 Jun 15:05 South Korea  0–3  Turkey 19–25 21–25 23–25 63–75
7 Jun 18:05 Thailand  2–3  Japan 25–19 25–20 17–25 19–25 20–22 106–111


Turkey def. South Korea 3-0

  • Turkey defeated South Korea 25-19, 25-21, 25-23
  • Turkey moved to 9-3 (28 points); South Korea moved to 5-7 (14 points)

Turkey won its third straight match in Thailand with a dominant offensive showing in a sweep of South Korea on Thursday.

The Turkish side boasted a 52-36 lead in kills and also led 7-2 in aces. The Koreans managed a 5-2 advantage in blocks and had help from 17 Turkish miscues to stay in the match. South Korea made just 12 errors.

A balanced attack saw five Turkish players notch eight or more points. Meliha Ismailoglu (12), Zehra Gunes (12), Meryem Boz (11), Seyma Ercan (9) and Eda Erdem Dundar (8) made up the group. Ismailoglu and Gunes turned in 11 kills and an ace each, while Boz chipped in 10 kills and a block. Ercan added seven kills and a team-best two aces alongside Dundar’s two perfect serves and six putaways.

Kim Yeon Koung posted 14 points with 11 kills and a team-best three blocks to lead Korea. Lee Jaeyong added nine points with seven kills and two aces. Kim Su Ji and Park Jeongah added seven and six points respectively, all on kills.

Turkey rode strong serving by Gunes and Cansu Ozbay and Ercan’s offense to a 25-19 Set 1 win.

Korea boasted the early lead in Set 2, only to see the Turkish side grab an 8-5 lead by the first technical timeout. The Koreans stayed close, but could not find an answer for Gunes or Erdem Dundar.

Korea took advantage of Turkish miscues to build a three-point lead in Set 3. After more errors, Turkey found itself down five, but recovered with a 6-0 run including strong serving from Erdem. Hande Baladin came through offensively with five kills in the stanza as a substitute to help Turkey close out the match.

Here are some post-match reactions.

Turkey wing spiker Meliha Ismailoglu: “We are very happy about the victory today. We made a lot of mistakes in serving yesterday, but we tried not to do that again today. We are really happy about how we fought throughout the game even though our tempo went down in the third set, but we came back and finished the game in three sets. Next week, for sure, will be a very tough week for us but we will try to fight again as we did in our first week in America. We have played very well against very strong teams before and we will try to put on the same performances next week.”

Korea captain Kim Yeon Koung: “Turkey have done a very good job in this tournament. They have the height advantage. We expected a tough match. We had a good chance in the third set, but we missed out in crucial points. We will try to do better next week.”


Japan def. Thailand 3-2

  • Japan defeated Thailand 19-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-19, 22-20
  • Japan moved to 6-6 (16 points); Thailand moved to 2-10 (7 points)

Japan mounted an awe-inspiring comeback effort, rallying from down 2-0 in the match, down five points in Set 4 and facing two match-points in Set 5 to steal away a victory over Thailand. The Thai piled up 17 blocks and led Japan in kills, but could not overcome 31 errors in the loss.

Thailand boasted a 63-60 lead in kills and 17-10 advantage in blocks. Japan edged the Thai in aces (12-9) and made good use of 31 errors (while committing just 17).

Ai Kurugo paced the Japanese effort with 29 points on a team-best 24 kills and five aces. Yuki Ishii tacked on 17 points (15 kills, 1 block, 1 ace). Nana Iwasaka chipped in seven points with a team-best five blocks and two putaways, while playing in just the final three sets. Risa Shinnabe added seven points (6 kills, 1 block), while playing mostly in Sets 1, 2 and 5.

Five Thai players turned in double-digit scoring efforts, led by Onuma Sittirak‘s 22. Ajcharaporn Kongyot (19), Chatchu-On Moksri (15), Hattaya Bamrungsuk (14) and Pleumjit Thinkaow (10) followed. Kongyot put down a team-leading 17 kills and added two blocks, while Sittirak added 16 putaways, three blocks and three aces. Moksri tallied 13 kills and two aces. Bamrungsuk led the team at the net with six blocks to go with five kills and three aces. Thinkaow aided the team at the tape with four stuffs and six kills.

Thailand started strong, going up by four early in Set 1, and rolling to a 15-7 advantage behind Onuma, Moksri and Kongyot. A block by Onuma helped the team down the stretch of the 25-19 win.

The home team erased a three-point deficit in Set 2 as Moksri and Onuma starred. A 4-0 run on the serving arm of Onuma gave Thailand some breathing room and a marathon rally gave the team a 2-0 lead in the match.

Japan began its turnaround in Set 3 as Kurogo heated up. A seven point run seemed to put the set out of reach for the Japanese, but the team would have to fight off a late rally before securing the 25-17 victory.

Thailand fought back in Set 4, building a 9-5 lead with help from three straight Bamrungsuk aces. Japan rallied with five straight points and went on to finish the stanza on a 10-1 run to force the fifth set.

The Thai team pleased the home crowd, going up 10-8 in Set 5 with help from Bamrunsgsuk and Moksri. Kurogo answered to tie the set at 11-all. A kill by Onuma put Thailand on top 13-11, but again Japan knotted the score. Neither team could convert on match point tries down the stretch as it took Japan six attempts to finally claim the 22-20 victory and break the home crowd’s hearts.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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