June 25, 2024

Vietnam, India take early lead in 2024 AVC Challenge Cup

Vietnam, India take early lead in 2024 AVC Challenge Cup
Tuyen Nguyen steers Vietnam past Singapore. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Vietnam and India sustained their strong start in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women after taking down Singapore and Chinese Taipei, respectively, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on Thursday, May 23.


Defending champion Vietnam, ranked as 40th in the world, dispatched Singapore in straight sets, 25-8, 29-27, 25-10.


The Vietnamese played with an overwhelming pace in the opening salvo, mounting a double-digit lead for an early buffer. 


However, they started to cough out one error after another in the second frame, which allowed the Singaporeans to pick up steam and forge a deadlock at 23.


Than Thuy Le buoyed Vietnam at set point but Tuyen Nguyen botched a service attempt, setting up a two-to-win situation. A trade of blows ensued before Nguyen and Giang Dinh nailed the differential hits that pushed their side ahead in sets, 2-0.


“In the second set, Singapore put in a great effort, playing far from their first set of the game – from serving, saving, attacking, everything, making it really difficult for Vietnam to score points,” Nguyen said. 


Come the third frame, the Vietnamese broke the game wide open after sprinting to a 23-10 separation. Lin Tran and Hien Pham then pummeled the finishing blows for a 2-0 record in Pool B.


Nguyen spearheaded the charge with 13 points built on nine attacks and four aces, while Trinh Nguyen and My Nguyen supplemented nine markers each.


Singapore, on the other hand, fell to a 0-2 standing.


No Singaporean scored in double figures, as Natalie Lai and Jie Gan paced the losing side with seven points apiece.


Vietnam will gun for 3-0 when it takes on Kazakhstan tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., while Singapore will attempt to break through against Indonesia also tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.


 

Meanwhile, India pulled off a straight-set stunner over 46th-ranked Chinese Taipei, 25-19, 25-13, 25-16.


The Indians, ranked as 57th, had to shake off an early challenge from last year’s bronze medalist before coasting through the succeeding frames to grab hold of the top position in Pool A with a 2-0 record.


Net defense spelled all the difference for India, as Soorya Soorya proved to be a tower of power with eight of her team’s 14 blocks on her way to 15 points.


Anusree Poyilil also made her presence felt with 13 markers, all coming from attacks, while Radha Anagha pitched in seven points.


“I’m feeling very happy that we won and we are hoping that we can get more wins. Our teammates are very supporting and our coaches, the Indian audience, they are very supportive. This time, we’re gonna win this tournament,” Soorya said.


Chinese Taipei, on the other hand, dropped to 0-2 in the standings.


Hsu Fang-Min was the lone double-digit scorer for the losing side with 10 points, while Lin Liang Tai had eight markers.


India will aim to remain undefeated when it takes on host country Philippines tomorrow at 7:00 p.m., while Chinese Taipei will try to break through against Iran also on Friday at 10:00 a.m.


 

In the opening match of the day, Hong Kong, coming off a loss to Vietnam, rebounded with a hard-earned sweep of Indonesia, 25-22, 26-24, 25-18, to barge into the win column.


Hong Kong leaned on the scoring duo of Chim Wing Lam and Shum Lam, both of whom delivered 18 points apiece to stave off the Indonesians and rise to a 1-1 standing in Pool B.


“We’re really happy because it’s one of our targets—we wanted to win [against] Indonesia. We know that they’re not at full strength because they only have 11 players, so this was our target match,” said Hong Kong team captain Yu Ying Chi.


Sabrina Agustina scored 12 in the losing cause while Nina Sesanti and Fanny Chayaningtyas managed nine and eight points, respectively.


Both teams will next face Singapore, as Hong Kong takes a one-day break before plunging back to action on Saturday at 10:00 a.m, while Indonesia attempts to bounce back tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.