June 25, 2024

Vietnam, Australia snap up opening-day victories in 2024 AVC Challenge Cup

Vietnam, Australia snap up opening-day victories in 2024 AVC Challenge Cup
Vietnam and Australia overpowered their opponents to grab victories in the first day of the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Defending champions Vietnam and title-seeking Australia are off to a rousing start in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women after beating Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei, respectively, at the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on Wednesday, May 22.

The 40th-ranked Vietnam opened their title defense in the tournament on a solid note with a straight-sets win over Hong Kong, 25-13, 25-17, 25-16.

Like their dominant first and second set victories, Vietnam distanced themselves early in the third behind opposite hitter Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen and middle blocker Le Thanh Thuy.

Up 20-16, Thi scored back-to-back points after an off-the-block hit and down-the-line attack. Thanh would then follow that up with a thunderous quick attack, before Thi sealed the win with a crosscourt kill.

Vi Thi Nhu Quynh led Vietnam with 14 points, nine of which came in the second set, while Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen added 11 markers.

Vietnamese volleyball star and national captain Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who recently played in the Japan V.League, sat out the match as she continues to recover from her knee injury.

"Actually, I feel like our performance today is really well, but we’re not really satisfied about the match because there were still a lot of mistakes and we need to change this," said Tran.

[ALSO READ: Vietnamese star T4 back in the Philippines for AVC Challenge Cup, but sits out opening win against Hong Kong]

Wing Lam Chim led the scoring for Hong Kong with nine points, while team captain Ying Chi Yu contributed seven points.

Hong Kong will aim to secure their first victory against debutants Indonesia tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Vietnam, on the other hand, will gun for a 2-0 record as they go head-to-head against Singapore also tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, in the fourth and final game of the day, Australia bucked a slow start to overpower Chinese Taipei in four sets, 23-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-18.

After faltering in the first set, the Volleyroos enforced their height advantage against Chinese Taipei to regain composure and secure the second and third sets in convincing fashion.

With momentum on their side, Australia once again took command in the fourth behind opposite hitter Emma Burton and middle blocker Cassandra Dodd.

While Chinese Taipei tried to mount a comeback, outside hitter Caitlin Tipping sealed the win after a kill block on Su Yu-Jie.

Tipping led Australia with 21 points built on 19 attacks and two blocks. Dodd, meanwhile, had 16 points, 10 of which came in blocks alone. 

"We've got still quite a young team, so there were a few nerves in the first set, and Taipei are always a tough opponent, so we were able to regain our composure enough to help our attack. I think the girls got better and better generally," said coach Russell Borgeaud.

Hsu Fang-Min paced Chinese Taipei with 16 markers, while Lin Liang-Tai added 10 in the loss.

Australia will look for win no. 2 against the host country Philippines at 7:00 p.m., while Chinese Taipei will square off against India, who bagged their first win against Iran.