Choco Mucho put up a courageous fight but fell short against Kazakhstan’s Zhetysu, 22-25, 19-25, 15-25, on the second day of the 2021 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship, Saturday at Terminal 21 Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Six-foot-three open spiker Valeriya Shatunova and 6-foot-2 opposite hitter Anastasiya Gurbanova took turns dropping bombs for the nine-time Kazakhstan women’s volleyball league champions.
Gurbanova finished with 19 points. Meanwhile, Shatunova and team captain Svetlana Parukova tallied 14 points apiece.
“Siguro we need more time to be able to jell together. For now, more day-to-day improvement,” said Deanna Wong, who started the game after coming off the bench yesterday.
“We need to work together as a team,” added the 23-year-old setter out of Ateneo.
Zhetysu ended the match on a 10-4 rally, topped by a Natalya Akilova dump. That completed the sweep, 25-15.
The Kazakhs pulled away from a 16-16 deadlock via seven unanswered points. Then Parukova capped it with two spikes to take the second set, 25-19.
Pushed to the limit in the first salvo, 19-24, Choco Mucho racked up three straight points, highlighted by two blocks from Mylene Paat, to inch within two.
But middle blocker Tatyana Mashkova punched the finishing blast with a running attack to give Zhetysu the 1-0 lead.
Kalei Mau, checked in the first two frames, got her groove in the third with five points to end with 11 points. She was the lone double-digit scorer for the Filipinas, though.
Tin Tiamzon added eight, while Mylene Paat – who was upgraded to the starting six – chimed in seven points on five attacks and two blocks.
Middle blockers Ria Meneses and Dell Palomata were effective, making seven and five points, respectively.
Following a sluggish first set for the Kazakhs, committing eight errors, they only had six the rest of the way.
The 0-2 Choco Mucho will face the eventual second seed from Group B in the crossover quarterfinals on Monday at 7:00 PM.