Japan and Korea secure wins on day two at Asian Girls' U18 Championship


Korea and Chinese Taipei tussle at the net

Chongqing, China, March 6, 2017 – Title-holders Japan and in-form Korea defeated Samoa and Chinese Taipei respectively in straight sets, as Iran suffered a shock defeat to Hong Kong on the second day of the “SMM” 11th Asian Girls’ U18 Volleyball Championship on Monday. The best four teams will qualify for the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship, which is due to take place in Argentina from August 18 to 27, 2017.

Japan b Samoa 3-0 (25-3, 25-15, 25-3)
Japan took a 13-0 advantage in the first set before gifting a point to their opponents on Monday. However, Samoa surprised everyone in the second set as they regained their composure to score from blocks and spikes. Ultimately, however, it was not sufficient to overturn Japan's advantage, and the dominant team gave their opponents little time to breathe in the third set.

Yuki Nishikawa of Japan scored 14 points from 21 attempts to emerge as the best scorer of the match.

"This is the first time they participate at this level of international competition," said Samoa coach Taugali Prithard. "I’m happy about the results of this game. What is important to us is the experience our girls have gained, because even in the same pool with Japan, it was very good. It was absolutely very good. In the first set, they were very shy and nervous. This is the big classroom that you can get. Samoa is a small island and we need more supports from big countries. Hopefully, this team will go forward."

Korea b Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 29-27)

Korea were challenged by Chinese Taipei, especially in the third set, but pulled through to claim victory 29-27.

Lee Juan scored the highest 15 points for Korea, while Wang Yuhan pocketed nine points for Chinese Taipei.

"I think we can play better. We didn’t get into the state very quickly. This is our first game," said captain Liu Yuchun and Wu Fangyu of Chinese Taipei after the match.

Hong Kong b Iran 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-21)
Finally, in a crucial match for both sides, Iran fell to Hong Kong in four sets. Iran had a good start as they established a commanding 16-10 lead at the second timeout in the opening set, before going on to claim the set victory.

Hong Kong, however, went on to win the following three sets combining speed and accuracy. 

“We weren't focused on the game at the beginning, so we didn’t play as well as we should do at the start. For today’s performance, in terms of the attack, we did a very good job. Today, we have a very good concentration. This is a very meaningful match. ” said Mak Tsz Shun, head coach of Hong Kong.

“I would like to say that I was very satisfied in the first set although my team are very inexperienced. Next match, I’m sure that they will play better, because they saw what they have to do today. I’m proud of my team because they’ve tried their best. Every match, we will be better and better, ” said Majda Cicic, head coach of Iran.

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