VOLLEYBALL AT THE 2018 ASIAN GAMES – WOMEN’S INDOOR TOURNAMENT
- August 20th, 2018 – September 1st, 2018
- Bulungan Sport Hall & Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia
- Schedule & Results
- Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4; Day 5; Quarterfinals; Semi-finals; Finals
The Asian Games was the perfect event for some teams to make the final adjustments towards this year’s WCH. For fans, it was an amazing opportunity to have a close look at what the continent’s best players had to offer. Who ran away with the competition? Here are our picks for the tournament’s Dream Team.
MVP – China’s Ting Zhu
China blew away its competition, winning every single one of its 8 games by a score of 3-0. Zhu was the main reason why. The human cheat code was just too much to handle in Jakarta, playing at her peak, and dominating every aspect of the game. When all was said and done, she scored at a ridiculous 6.5 points per set on a 57% hitting clip. She also added 5.1 digs and 0.8 blocks per set, just for good measure. These are ridiculous numbers and show why the Chinese team is the clear favorite for gold at this year’s WCH.
Setter – China’s Ding Xia
The Olympic gold medalist was at the peak of her form in Jakarta, scoring running sets on 48% of her actions (8 per set). Ditto, all of China’s hitters are world-class, but having a setter distribute the ball with precision akin to male players just makes everything that much easier. The fact that she helped out with 3.5 digs per set also shows just how much of a complete player she is.
Middle Blockers – Thailand’s Pleumjit Thinkaow and South Korea’s Yang Hyo-Jin
International volleyball basically has two tipes of middle blockers: defense-first and offense-first players. Balancing this scenario can make all the difference between having a winning or losing team. We have chosen to go with this trend. Korea’s Yang Hyo-Jin is our defensive choice, having blocked 0.73 balls per set in the tournament, one of the competition’s best marks. Although she gave Korea 3 points per set, she did so in only 47% hitting, a below average performance for liberos. Thailand’s Pleumjit Thinkaow would compliment her well in the offensive side of the game, having hit a stellar 58% from the field and scoring as many kills as Yang, but on 6 fewer sets.
Opposite – China’s Li Yingying
Having to play alongside Zhu automatically means that you are out of the offensive spotlight, something unusual for an opposite hitter, usually the game’s most prolific scorers. China’s Li Yingying knows how to make the best out of her role though, delivering her team 3.5 points per set on 52% hitting, an amazing efficiency for an opposite. She also helped out with an above average 0.5 aces and 0.4 blocks per set. Efficiency is the name of the game for China.
Outside Hitters – China’s Ting Zhu and South Korea’s Kim Yeon-Koung
When contending against Zhu, even stellar numbers can look downright average. At first glance, this is the case with Kim Yeon-koung‘s performance at the Asian Games. Don’t be fooled though, as the Korean superstar doesn’t have the amazing support system Zhu has, but is still able to put up above average numbers. She left Jakarta scoring 5.3 points per set, an amazing performance at the outside position, while also contributing with an above average 0.54 blocks and 5.3 digs pet set. Although her hitting percentage was a bit on the low side at 43%, that is what you get when you are the focus of the offense for a below average team.
Libero – Japan’s Kotoe Inoue
As is tradition, the Japanese team dominated the back-court at the tournament. Although she was kept as far away from the receiving lines as possible by opposing teams, Koto Inoue was all over the court in defensive action, averaging almost 6 digs per set. The fact that she didn’t receive enough serves to be contemplated in the receiving statistics just goes to show what kind of libero she is.