AVC Women’s World Championship Qualifier
- Baluan Sholak Sports Palace; Almaty, Kazakhstan (Pool A)
- Nakhon Pathom Gymnasium; Nakhon Pathom Thailand (Pool B)
- Sept. 20-24, 2017
Four spots in the 2018 FIVB World Championships are on the line as 10 teams square off at the AVC Qualifiers. The teams are divided into two pools with the winner and runnerup in each earning the ticket to Worlds.
Pool A includes China, Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan, Australia and Fiji, while Pool B features Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, North Korea and Iran.
Action began on Wednesday with two matches in each pool. China and Chinese Taipei were winners in Pool A, while South Korea and Thailand started Pool B on the right foot.
All four matches were decided in sweeps.
China def. Fiji 3-0 (25-5, 25-10, 25-14)
Chinese Taipei def. Australia 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-8)
Olympic champion China spoiled Fiji’s international debut with a three-set drubbing on Wednesday, which took just 56 minutes. Zhang Changning led the way for the chinese with 10 points, tallying eight kills and two blocks.
“It is the first match of the tournament, and we needed everybody to be well-prepared,” Chinese coach An Jiajie said. “In fact, all of our players went to the court today.”
Despite utilizing his bench players in Set 3, An’s team bested Fiji in all categories, tallying 41 kills, six blocks and four aces.
“We are proud of how we performed today,” Fiji’s captain Karisitiana Ulamila said. “For each set, we increased our score. We managed to gather our efforts and determination to put on a good performance against the Olympic Champions,’ said Ulamila.
Chinese Taipei put up eight blocks and managed six aces in a sweep of Australia.
“In the beginning of the game, our pace was a bit chaotic,” captain Chen Wang-Ting said. “Later on, we changed our tactics according to the instructions of our coach in terms of serve and attack.”
Chen scored a team-best 13 points, with eight kills, four blocks and an ace. Chang Li-Yun followed with 12 points.
“Chinese Taipei is a very disciplined team, as they do not make a lot of errors,” Australia coach Shannon Marie Winzer said. “Tonight, we wanted to play to our strength with aggressive volleyball. We are a lot bigger than Chinese Taipei, but unfortunately we could only do that within the first set.”
South Korea def. North Korea 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-19)
Thailand def. Iran 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-13)
Kim Yeonkoung paced world No. 10 South Korea with 14 points in a sweep of North Korea.
Yeonkoung downed 11 kills and added three ace, while Kim Suji added 13 points, including five blocks and two aces. North Korea notched a match-high 16 points for North Korea.
After dropping Set 1 25-17, North Korea boasted a slim 21-10 lead in Set 2 only to fall 25-23. The teams were knotted at 19 late in Set 3, before South Korea finished it off with a 6-0 run.
“This is our first match in this tournament against DPR Korea and I think we played well against them,” South Korea head coach Hong Sungjin said. “I’m very glad that my team started with win. We played them the last time at the 2011 Asian Senior Women’s Championship in Chinese Taipei. At that time, I was a staff member of the team and we beat them 3-1. They came back much stronger this time with effective receiving and digging. I think we still need a lot of practice for our next match against Iran. However, I admit that we started badly in the second and third sets because this is our first time that the setter and attacks have a chance to learn each other.”
Thailand continued its domination of Iran this summer, following an Asian Senior Women’s Championship win with the sweep in qualifiers, this time against a young Iranian side.
Ajcharaporn Kongyot notched 11 points with eight kills and three blocks, while Pimpichaya Kokram added 10 points, including nine kills to pace Thailand in the win. Masha Saberi registered a team-best nine points for Iran.
Chutchu-on Moksri, Kokram and Kongyot lifted the team to a 25-14 Set 1 win, then turned it over to a bunch of substitutes, who registeed a 25-15 victory. Iran led 6-5 in Set 3, before falling behind 21-11 en route to the 25-13 loss.
“I think we played well today as I tried to change several players in this match to gain competition experience and test their competence for future expectation with the team,” Thailand coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul said. “This will help the young players learn how to combine their tactics with the veterans. As far as I see Malika Kanthong play in her comeback effort, I think she plays well although her strength and power is still needed for her to become a force of the team. Our team’s strong point is good serves.”