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Tiebreaker Times

2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women

AVC: Ansuree Poyilil leads India to sweep of Iran to kickstart Challenge Cup campaign

India dispatched Iran in straight sets, 25-17, 25-23, 25-21, to kick-start its redemption bid in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women with a bang, Wednesday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

After finishing the previous edition in fourth place, the Indians looked eager to get over the hump and dominated the Iranians to take the early advantage in Pool B with a 1-0 record.

Ansuree Kambrath Poyilil delivered the goods for India, firing four of the team’s last six points to help the squad put up an 8-2 finishing kick and overcome an 18-19 disadvantage late in the third to secure the victory.

She finished with 15 points on 13 attacks and two aces for India, who are looking to make it to the podium after losing to Chinese Taipei in the bronze medal match last year.

“I feel very proud and happy. The Iran team is also very good, but we focused on our service and digging, and we got good results,” said team captain and playmaker Jini Kovat Shaji.

“Last year, we finished in fourth place, but now we want to win a medal in this tournament. We are trying to prepare our team to play as a group,” she added.

Opposite spiker Radha Anagha top-scored for the Indians with 16 points on 13 attacks and three aces while Shaalini Saravanan added 12 markers.

India will try to claim revenge and make it two wins in a row when they take on Chinese Taipei on Thursday, 1:00 p.m. at the same venue.

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On the other hand, the Iranians were led by middle blocker Reyhane Karimi with eight attacks, three kill blocks, and one ace for a team-high 12 points while Aymat Salamatgharamaleki with 10 points.

Iran aims to bounce back against Chinese Taipei as well on Friday at 10:00 a.m.

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