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Thailand, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Iran top their pools at Asian Women's U23 Championship

 
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 15, 2017 - Title-hotshots Thailand, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Iran did not lose a set to their respective rivals to top Pool A, B, C and D at the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall on Monday.

Chinese Taipei power past Kazakhstan in close three sets
Chinese Taipei defeated Kazakhstan in three thrilling sets 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19), but both teams progressed to the round of the last eight teams.

Both teams had already won their first two matches over Australia and Sri Lanka and Monday’s match was to decide the top spot in Pool C.

Chen Tzu-Ya scored a team-high 15 points, all of them from her devastating attacks. Yu Chin-Feng and Tseng Wan-Ling added 11 points apiece to the team’s tally. Aidan Oryntayeva led Kazakhstan with 11 points including 10 kills from 23 attempts.

“I think Kazakhstan played well with strong attacks in the first set and we found it very difficult to cope with their tactics. However, we tried to improve on our service, spikes and blocks and we then won this match. We next take on Hong Kong and I think we will play a relaxed match against them. The match after that will be much tougher as we have to play hosts Thailand, one of the strong teams in this tournament. I hope we will have a good run in this championship. We eye the final showdown here no matter which team we will play,” Chinese Taipei’s head coach Lin Ming-Hui commented after the match.

Japan tame Uzbekistan in one-sided battle to capture top spot in Pool B
Devastating Japan proved too much for Uzbekistan to breeze past the minnows in a lop-sided encounter 3-0 (25-6, 25-11, 25-12) to top Pool B.

Hard-attacking Rei Kudo led Japan with 12 points including 11 kills from 28 attempts. Powerful Kari Mabashi contributed with 11 points, all from her spectacular spikes. Barhayohon Umarova collected 3 points for Uzbekistan.

Struggling Iran pull off hard-fought 3-0 win over Kiwis
Iran overcame a serious threat from New Zealand to pull off a hard-fought 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-20) win in their preliminary Pool D match on Monday.

The Iranians, who stormed past Malaysia in straight sets in their opening match the previous day, repeated the feat on Monday. The straight-set win over New Zealand handed Iran a spot in the last eight.

Fatemeh Amini scored 15 points for Iran including 12 attacks and 3 aces, while Farnaz Saei Esfahani added 10 points. Alice Zeimann collected 17 points for New Zealand including 11 kills and 5 ace serves.

Hong Kong advance after comeback 3-2 win over Macao
Hong Kong came from behind to beat Macao in five sets 3-2 (20-25, 25-3, 25-16, 16-25, 15-9) to finish second in Pool A on Monday and join Thailand in the round of last eight teams.

Australia put it past gallant Sri Lanka for first win
Australia snatched their first win after cruising past the smaller-built Sri Lankans in dramatic four sets 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 21-25, 25-14) on Monday.

Australia and Sri Lanka suffered losses to Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan in Pool C and both sides had already been relegated to the 9th-13th classification round since Sunday. Their match on Monday was to decide a better position in the pool.

At the end of the pool round-robin preliminaries on Monday, Thailand topped Pool A with 6 points from two wins, followed by Hong Kong with 2 points from one win against one loss. Macao finished third with 1 point from two losses.

Japan claimed top spot in Pool B with 6 points from two wins in a row, while Vietnam finished second with 3 points from one win against one loss. Winless Uzbekistan came in third place.

Chinese Taipei made a clean sweep in Pool C with 9 points from three victories, followed by Kazakhstan with 5 points from two wins against one loss. Australia and Sri Lanka finished third with 4 points from one win against two losses, with winless Sri Lanka in fourth position.

Iran topped Pool D with 6 points from straight two wins, while Malaysia and New Zealand came in second and third places with 3 and 0 point respectively.

The round of last eight teams starts on Tuesday with the top two teams from each pool divided into Pools E and F for playoff matches. Teams finishing third and fourth from each pool will participate in the 9th-13th classification round.

Monday’s results
Japan b Uzbekistan 3-0 (25-6 25-11 25-12)
Chinese Taipei b Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-19 25-17 25-19)
Iran b New Zealand 3-0 (28-26 25-22 25-20)
Hong Kong b Macao 3-2 (20-25 25-3 25-16 16-25 15-9)
Australia b Sri Lanka 3-1 (25-16 25-23 21-25 25-14)

Match schedule
May 16, 2017
Playoff matches in round of last eight teams

1C-Chinese Taipei v 2A-Hong Kong
1A-Thailand v 2C-Kazakhstan
1D-Iran v 2B-Vietnam
1B-Japan v 2D-Malaysia
9th-13th classification round

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