Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, April 26, 2023 – In-form Altay VC captured two wins in succession in the 2023 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Vinh Phuc Gymnasium following their exceptional straight-set win against debutantes Mongolia’s Khuvsgul Erchim VC on Wednesday.
The convincing 25-12, 25-9, 25-11 win handed the 2021 champions two successive wins in the continent’s topflight club championship. On the previous day, the Kazakh powerhouses produced an epic comeback for the 3-2 win against old foes Diamond Food Fine Chef-Air Force, the team they had already beaten in straight sets in the first round of the last year’s edition on their home soil.
Svetlana Parukova contributed 14 points for Altay including 7 attacks and team-leading 6 aces, while Sana Anarkulova and Valeriya Chumak aded 10 points apiece. No one from Khuvsgul Erchim scored double-digits. Khandsuren Gantogtokh scored 4 points on the team’s losing effort.
In the first set, hard-hitting Anarkulova, who scored a match high 27 points in the thrilling match against Diamond Food, remained a major force to be reckoned with, as Altay raced to an initial lead with a four-point advantage at 11-7. The Kazakh team mixed the excellent offensive combinations of devastating attacks from outside Serbian Sara Sakradzija and Anarkulova with solid blocks from Kristina Anikonova and Svetlana Parukova to bag five back-to-back points to stretch the lead to 16-7.
Khandsuren Gantogtokh produced an effective drop shot to add one crucial point for Khuvsgul Erchim, but Altay continued their remarkable run since then with Anarkulova and Parukova too powerful on their attacks. As the Kazakhs were taking a commanding 23-11 lead, a spike from Bayanjargal Jigjidkhorol went wide, helping Altay to bring in the set point at 24-11.
A moment later, Anarkulova served to the net, giving the Mongolians another life 12-24. However, their delight was short-lived as Parukova produced a beautiful mid-court drop shot which went without responding. Altay took the first set 25-12.
The second set was a completely one-sided affair as brilliant plays from Anarkulova, Parukova and middle blocker Valeriya Chumak steered Altay to 16-6 lead. Though Khuvsgul Erchim tried to regroup and hit back gallantly, their intention was to no avail. The Kazakh side stormed on to win the set 25-9, without much effort.
Going down two sets, the Mongolians fought all-out, but their comeback attempts were denied by a…
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