China fielded a strong line-up in the likes of hefty 193cm-tall Xu Ruayo, Zhu Ting, Tang Ningya and Chen Xintong. After crushing the Kazakhs to win the first two sets without much difficulty 25-12 25-4, China replaced their best players with all substitutions including Zheng Yixin, Chen Jiao, Li Weiwei, Wang Fengjiao and Yang Fangxu in the third set. Still, the game was dominated by the Chinese.
Despite a gallant fight, Kazakhstan proved no match against the much stronger Chinese, who captured the set 25-16 and the comfortable encounter. China, the only team yet losing a set to their respective rivals, advanced to the semi-finals and a rematch with Japan. The Sunday’s victory has also guaranteed China a berth for the next year’s world meet.
Xu Ruayo claimed nine points for China, while Anastassiya Rostovchshidova emerged as the top scorer of Kazakhstan with eight points.
“I replaced my best players with substitutions in the third set and it’s not a big deal that they made some mistakes. Fortunately, we are stronger than Kazakhstan and that’s why we won this match easily. Our next match against Japan will be much tougher, but we beat them already in this tournament. So, I’m still convinced that my girls will repeat the feat,” commented China’s head coach Xu Jiande.
“In preparation for this championship, we spent around 15 days in Europe, where we played friendly matches with national junior teams of Germany, Belgium and Italy and we beat them all. That achievement has boosted our confidence of retaining our title here.”
For all the results from Asian Jr. Men’s Volleyball Championship click here