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Two teams move into Volleyball Challenger Cup semifinals

 

Autumn Bailey of Canada spikes avoiding Chinese Taipei's blockers Tseng Wan-Ling and Chang Li-Wen

Lima, Peru, June 27, 2019 – Canada, who were making their FIVB Volleyball Women’s Volleyball Challenger Cup debut on Thursday, and Argentina move into the event’s semifinals as they push forward in their campaigns to earn promotion to the 2020 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

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Canada, with a solid Challenger Cup debut, defeated Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-16) and moved into the semifinals with one victory, overwhelming Chinese Taipei with a 43-27 advantage in attacks, led by Alexa Grey and Autumn Baily with 13 points each and Kiera Van Ryk with 12 points.

Canada will face Argentina to decide pool B's top finisher and the crossover in Saturday’s semifinals, while Chinese Taipei have completed their run in the Volleyball Challenger Cup.

Middle blocker Alicia Perrin, who plays in Peru’s national volleyball league, said "I believe patience can describe this match. Chinese Tapei had a very good defence, so our passing and blocking took longer to score”. About their next opponent (Argentina), she said: “I expect it to be a challenging game, they have a great spike and we have a great block."

Tom Black, head coach of Canada said there was still a long way to go despite reaching the semifinals: "We will learn from tonight’s performance, which was a little bit of a roller coaster as we broke down a little bit in the middle but we had some serving runs that bailed us out." In reference to their next match, he added: "With their strong hitters, Argentina will try to overpower us."

The Czech Republic came out strong to repeat their European Golden League victory against Croatia, prevailing 3-1 (20-25, 25-12, 25-16, 25-15). The Czechs relied on their powerful serves leading by an 11-4 margin (Gabriela Orvosova with five aces) after losing the first set.

Michaela Mlejnkova led the Czechs scoring 15 points, accompanied by Andrea Kossanyiova and Gabriela Orvosova with 14 points apiece, along with Veronika Trnkova with 12 points.

The Czech Republic moves into the last match in Pool A against hosts Peru, who lost yesterday to Croatia, as a strong contender to be one of the semifinalists.

Pavla Smidova, captain of Czech Republic said they were unfocused in the first set. "We came out stronger after starting off balance, and we did a great job recovering playing our game, specially scoring so many aces. Tomorrow we face the home team and their fans, they will push hard but we will have to concentrate to keep our rhythm."

Head coach of Czech Republic, Ionannis Athanasopoulus said his team was blocked after point ten in the first set. "I really do not know what happened, we could not find any solutions but we came out more aggressive in serves." He also said he was satisfied with his team’s performance from there on. "This is how we must continue the rest of the tournament; first we must beat our next opponent Peru and at least we have to win two sets to qualify to the next round."

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