China continue winning ways at FIVB VNL Macao 2019

The FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Macao 2019, sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) and jointly organized by the Sports Bureau of the Macao SAR Government and the Volleyball Association of Macao, China, continued today at the Macao Forum.  China made it two wins out of two with a straight-set triumph over Belgium, while Thailand edged a closely-fought match against Korea.

Thailand defeated Korea 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20) in the first match today. Thailand started the match with a great deal of intensity and jumped out to an early 8-4 lead in set one. Nootsara Tomkom was masterful in spreading the offense around for the Thai side which helped her team maintain its four-point lead for the remainder of the set. Set one went to Thailand 25-21.

The second set saw the Koreans jump out to an early 6-3 lead, thanks in part to a number of Thai hitting errors. More errors from Thailand helped Korea to extend its lead to five at 15-10. Thailand battled back to within three points which caused the Koreans to make a change at setter. The substitution paid immediate dividends as Lee Hyo Hee helped her team grow its lead to 24-17. Korea closed out set two 25-19.

Set three was a back and forth affair as both teams tried to take control of the match. Amazing defense was on display from both sides and it was Korea who had an 8-7 lead at the first technical time out. Thailand battled back and went up by three at 18-15. The Thai team finished in style as Malika Kanthong served two aces to close out the set 25-19.

The fourth set mimicked the third as Korea again had a one-point lead at the first technical time out. But it was Nootsara Tomkom who came to the service line and propelled her team to an 11-8 lead. The Korean side battled back to tie the set at 16-16 but an ace by Tomkom gave Thailand a 19-17 lead. Momentum stayed with the Thai squad as they finished off the set 25-20.

Chatchu-On Moksri led Thailand with 18 kills and one block while Malika Kanthong contributed three aces. Pyo Seungju led Korea with 16 kills and one block.

China then defeated Belgium 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-14). China came out flying in set one as Yuan Xinyue made three consecutive blocks to give her team an early 4-0 lead in set one. The Chinese continued to dominate at the net, extending their lead to 16-7 at the second technical time out. The teams traded points until China closed out the set 25-16.

Belgium turned things around at the start of set two, grabbing an early 5-2 lead. The advantage was short-lived as the Chinese rebounded to take an 8-7 lead at the technical time out. The Chinese continued to pressure the Belgian side, opening up a 17-13 lead when Yuan Xinyue powered down an attack from the middle. Marlies Janssens tough serving brought Belgium equal at 18-18, but the Chinese fought back and an ace by Li Yingying gave China some breathing room at 23-20. China took set two 25-20.

The Chinese offense was firing in set three, helping China jump out to an early 12-4 lead. The Chinese side continued to dominate play and comfortably captured the third set 25-14. Li Yingying led China with 12 kills and three aces. Kaja Grobelna was the top performer for Belgium with 11 kills and three blocks.

Belgium plays Thailand in the first match at 1630 tomorrow before China closes out play against Korea at 1930. Tickets purchased online previously may be redeemed at the ticketing counter at the Macao Forum upon presentation of valid receipt and personal identification document, starting two hours before the first match commences.

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