AVC Cup: China, Japan sweep groups to claim top seeds
MANILA, Philippines — China and Japan completed a sweep in their respective groups to enter the AVC Cup for Women quarterfinals as top seeds at PhilSports Arena on Thursday.
Wang Yifan unleashed 25 points as defending champion China averted a slow start to beat Iran, 24-26, 25-19, 25-10, 25-13, to sweep four games in Pool A.
Besides the Chinese skipper, Wang Wenhan and Zhuang Yushan also produced 13 and 12 points, respectively. Hu Mingyuan added 10 markers.
China sets a knockout quarterfinal match against winless Australia on Saturday.
“We didn’t think about our numbers putting in our pool. It’s a big achievement of winning this game (against the Iranians) but the tougher games are behind this game. We have the quarterfinals and probably we will gonna make it to the semifinal or the final which we should really focus on. We will gonna prepare for it,” said Chinese coach Kuang Qi through interpreter and opposite spiker Li Xuemeng.
Iran has now lost three straight games after winning its opener and will have to wait for the result of the Philippines-South Korea taking place as of posting time.
A win by the Philippines (1-2) will secure Pool A’s third seed and set a quarterfinal match against Thailand, while sending Iran to a matchup against Japan.
Elahe Shadehsari led the Iranians with 13 points after losing another game following a four-set loss to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Japan hardly broke a sweat in dominating Australia, 25-4, 25-11, 25-15, to complete a three-match sweep of Pool B.
Yuki Nishikawa fired 13 spikes, three service aces, and two blocks to finish with 18 points, while Mizuki Tanaka drilled six aces for 16 markers to forge a knockout game against Pool A’s No.4 seed on Saturday.
“We had a little time to prepare for this competition with this team. But we did pretty great and I’m so happy for it,” said Nishikawa through an interpreter.
Japan’s opponent will depend on the final group stage game between the Philippines (1-2) and winless South Korea (0-3).
No one from Australia scored in double figures with Khiani Garton-Dodd finishing with seven points as the Volleyroos ended up winless in three games to face unbeaten China in the knockout round.
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