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(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – Volero Zurich vs Hisamitsu Springs Kobe
7:30 p.m. – Pomi Casalmaggiore vs Rexona Secs Rio
Swiss powerhouse Volero Zurich leaned on its height advantage as it dismantled Bangkok Glass, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23, yesterday at the start of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Volero Zurich spikers, who finished third in the previous edition, started slow but managed to pull through against their Southeast Asian counterparts for their first victory in Pool B of the two-bracket preliminaries.
Opposite spiker Olesia Rykhliuk steered Volero Zurich with 20 points highlighted by 16 kills, even as Dobriana Rabadzhieva chipped in 17 hits.
Volero Zurich dominated the match for most parts but encountered rough sailing in the third frame, when Bangkok Glass relied on its speed and floor defense.
Tied at 23-all, Dobriana did not waste any time as she pounced on a quick spike followed by a block on Bangkok Glass skipper Pleumjit Thinkaeow to seal the match win.
Volero Zurich Coach Zoran Terzic, however, was not satisfied of their straight-set victory, saying that they “didn’t play well as a team.”
“In this kind of competition, the first game is always difficult. My players weren’t relaxed in the court. Some players made good statistics, but it is not important if we don’t play as a team,” said Terzic.
Terzic also credited Bangkok Glass’ defense, adding that there were no easy points they won against them.
Wilavan Apinyapong topscored for Bangkok Glass with 12 points, 10 coming from attacks, while American Ashley Frazier contributed 11 points.
Volero Zurich dominated in spikes (50-31) and blocks (10-6) with its height advantage, but struggled with 21 errors compared to Bangkok Glass’ only 11.
Earlier, VakifBank Istanbul rose from a close third-set stumble and outhustled Hismitsu Springs Kobe, 25-15, 25-15, 29-31, 25-18, also for its first win in Pool B.