Swiss club Volero Zurich outmuscled Thai powerhouse Bangkok Glass in straight sets 25-21, 25-19, 25-23 in their opening match of the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
With taller Western players manning their lineup, Volero gave their Asian counterparts problems at the net defensively and offensively. Zurich leapt to a 12-7 lead in the first set then clobbered the Thais with a 5-0 run to forge an 18-14 edge.
Bangkok Glass managed to take a two-point lead throughout the third frame before American Foluke Akinrawedo changed the complexion of the set at 9-11. The Olympic bronze medalist scored thrice in a 5-0 run that placed Zurich ahead permanently. The Thais forced a late 23-all tie but clutch plays at the net sealed Volero’s win.
“It was not really easy because Thailand clubs play a different style of volleyball than those in Europe. They play better defense than us. So we had to tough out a lot of points,” said Volero team captain Natalya Mammadova.
“My team didn’t played relax earlier – there was still nerves. The more we play games, the better we’ll adjust,” added Vilero head coach Zoran Terzic.
Olesha Rykhliuk led Zurich with 20 points, Dobriana Rabadzhieva added 17 markers, while Akinrawedo finished with 11. Volero out-spiked Bangkok 50-31 and recorded more block kills 10-6.
Wilavan Apinyapong managed 12 markers for Bangkok while American import Ashley Frazier fired 11 points.
Volero (1-0) faces Hisamitsu Springs (0-1) tomorrow at 4:30 pm. Bangkok Glass (0-1) also takes on Hismitsu on Wedenesday, 10 am.
Volero (3) – Rykhulik 20, Rabadzheiva 17, Akinrawedo 11, Orlova 7, Mammadova 6, Costa 2, Malkova 1, Almeida de Souza 0, Popovic (L)
Bangkok Glass (0) – Apinyapong 12, Frazier 11, Nguyen 9, Thinkaow 4, Prabnarong 3, Guedpard 2, Montripila 1, Balee 0, Changkeeaw (L)