Vietnam stunned Australia 3-0 on Sunday to prolong their winning streak and progress onto the semifinals of the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Thailand.
Vietnam has been on a winning streak throughout the tournament, which takes place in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand through Wednesday.
Vietnamese hitter Tran Thi Thanh Thuy capitalized on her height advantage, delivering powerful attacks and solid blocks that propelled Vietnam to an initial 14-9 lead in the first set.
However, Australia made a strong comeback, with middle blocker Kara Inskip and opposite hitter Emma Burton launching consecutive attacks, providing a formidable challenge for Vietnam.
However, the Vietnamese players responded with aggressive counter-attacks, securing crucial points and ultimately winning the set at 25-15.
With a 1-0 advantage, Vietnam continued to dominate the second set, maintaining a commanding seven-point lead at 9-2.
Despite Australia’s efforts to stage a comeback through a combination of powerful attacks and impressive blocks, Vietnam powered through to claim the set at 25-15.
The third set was firmly controlled by the Vietnamese team as it took a substantial lead of 8-1 before establishing a five-point advantage at 20-15.
Playing with confidence and consistency, Vietnam decided to rest key players, substituting in younger talents.
Australia seized this opportunity to narrow the gap to 21-23.
However, its resurgence came too late as opposite hitter Hoang Thi Kieu Trinh scored two consecutive points, securing a hard-fought 25-21 victory for Vietnam in the set and sealing the match.
|Vietnamese opposite hitter Hoang Thi Kieu Trinh strikes an attack during their Pool E match against Australia at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Thailand, September 3, 2023. Photo: AVC|
The 3-0 victory qualified Vietnam for the semifinals, even with one more classification-round match left to play, marking its best-ever performance at the Asian championship.
It was also its fourth triumph in succession after beating South Korea, Uzbekistan, and Taiwan in the group stage.
Joined by South Korea as the top two teams in Group C, Vietnam earned a place in the classification round, where it is placed in Pool E alongside host Thailand and Australia.
In the remaining classification-round match, Vietnam will take on Thailand, which has also entered the semifinals after defeating South Korea 3-0 on Sunday, at 6:00 pm on Monday (Vietnam time).
Fourteen participating teams competed in four groups at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship before 12 teams advanced to the classification round.
The tournament’s top three teams will earn a spot in the 2025 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.
In the event’s 20 previous editions, China claimed the highest number of titles, totaling 13, while Japan has won five and Thailand has clinched two.
The 2021 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam’s most notable achievement was a fifth place in both 2015 and 2017.