USA overcome Korea improving to 3-0


KOBE, Japan, October 2, 2018 - The United States had to fight hard for a 3-1 victory over a feisty Korea in Pool C action at Kobe Green Arena on Tuesday evening. The reigning world champions and world No. 2 recovered from one set down to win 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-18) and extend their win-loss record to a perfect 3-0.


World No. 10 Korea dropped to 0-3 but can take heart from becoming the first team here to take a set off the Americans.


Southpaw Kelly Murphy led the USA scoring with 18 points, including 16 spikes, and Rachael Adams provided a textbook performance of a middle blocker with 14 points, including five blocks. Three other American players reached double figures.


Korea replied with 26 points from Park Jeongah, including 24 spikes, and 17 from Captain Kim Yeon Koung.


Also in Pool C, Thailand recorded a sparkling 3-1 victory over World Championship rookies Trinidad and Tobago. The Thais, ranked 16th in the world, delighted their large following by winning 25-17, 25-17, 23-25, 25-11 to improve their win-loss record to 2-1. The 34th-ranked T&T slipped to a third straight defeat.

It was a true team effort by the quick-to-improvise Thais, who had 17 points each from middle blocker Nuekjang Thatdao, with nine spikes and four blocks four and aces, and Kongyot Ajcharaporn, who led the attack with 16 spikes. T&T's top scorer was southpaw spiker Krystele Esdelle with 15 points, one more than Channon Thompson and Sinead Jack.


In Sapporo, Italy cruised past Cuba 3-0 (25-11, 25-18, 25-20) on the third day of action on Tuesday.


Paola Egonu was Italy’s top scorer for the third match running. She scored 15 points, with Anna Danesi contributing 11, including three blocks. Cuba were led by Ailama Cese and Jessica Aguilera, who both scored nine points.


Italy had the edge in blocking points (8-3), aces (4-1) and errors (13-21) and never looked in danger of losing the match, although the Cubans recovered from a poor first set to offer Italy more of a challenge.


It was only Italy’s second ever win against Cuba in the World Championships, although Italy have now won seven of their last nine encounters against Cuba at world-level competitions. Italy have won all three of their matches 3-0 at this year’s World Championship. Cuba have lost theirs 3-0 and their 10-match losing streak is their longest without a win in the competition.


Also in Sapporo, Captain Zhu Ting led China to victory in a tough match against a resilient Canada team on Tuesday. China won 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-13) in the final match on the third day of action. 


Zhu was the top scorer for China with 14 points, but it was no one-woman show. Yuan Xinyue added 10 points and Gong Xiangyu nine. Kiera Van Ryk (11) was the only Canadian to get into double figures, with Emily Maglio scoring nine points.


China had the edge in blocking points (10-8), service points (6-4) and errors (10-19), and were dominant in sets (27-6), reflecting a strong performance from setter Ding Xia.