AVC Cup: Dominant China, Japan, Vietnam enter semis
MANILA, Philippines — Defending champion China made quick work of winless Australia, 25-13, 25-8, 25-8, on Saturday to enter the semifinal round of the AVC Cup for Women at PhilSports Arena.
Wu Mengjie led China’s onslaught with 17 points built on 12 attacks, four aces, and a block, while Zhou Yetong chipped in 14 points to oust the Volleyroos in 78 minutes.
Zhuang Yushan was also instrumental, pouring in 10 of her 13 points in the second set as the five-time AVC Cup champion will face the winner of the Philippines-Thailand quarterfinal match on Sunday at 4 p.m.
“Everyone wants to win, that’s for sure. We are expecting us to play well in every game. It’s not only just about victory. It’s more about playing well on the court and showing everyone’s techniques that we learned every day,” said Chinese coach Kuang Qi after earning their fifth straight win in the tournament.
Australia only had 15 kills in the match, falling to China’s 44 attacks. Caitlyn Tipping and Rebecca Redgen led the way with four markers each as they are relegated in the classification round, facing the Philippines or Thailand at 1 p.m. also on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Japan and Vietnam forged a knockout semis match after eliminating separate foes.
Yuki Nishikawa delivered 18 points as Japan ousted Iran, 25-23, 25-21, 26-28, 25-16, to forge a 7 p.m. duel with the Vietnamese.
The Japanese failed to close out the match in the third set as Maedeh Borhani drilled six of her eight points in the crucial moments of the third set to force another frame. But Mizuki Tanaka caught fire in the fourth and nailed six of her 13 points in the set to keep Japan unbeaten in four games.
“It was the whole team that made this win to make it to the semifinals. We competed as a team,” said Japanese captain Mika Shibata.
Shibata warns her team to brace for Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who poured nine points in the fifth set to erase a 6-9 deficit and completed Vietnam’s come-from-behind 19-25, 25-17, 16-25, 25-18, 15-10 victory over Chinese Taipei.
“If we got one winning point, we encourage them to play better,” said Tran, who unleashed 25 points to eliminate the Taiwanese after a grueling two-hour and 20-minute match, hopes the Vietnamese would work as one unit against the 2018 AVC Cup runner-up.
“We will try to play together. We will prepare,” she said.
Hoang Thi Kieu Trinh also propelled the Vietnamese with 22 points including five blocks, while Nguyen Thi Trinh added 10 markers.
Chinese Taipei leaned on the 19-point effort of Chen Tzu-Ya as it failed to close out its 2-1 match advantage.
Chinese Taipei faces Iran, which was led by Mahsa Kadkhoda and Pouran Zare scoring 15 points each, in the 5th to 8th semifinals bracket at 10 a.m.