‘We lost, we lost’ U18 women’s volleyball loses to Japan 2-3 in three sets to miss out on World Youth Championship ticket

Kim Eui-sung’s bid to qualify for the World Youth Women’s Championship has come up short.

South Korea’s U18 women’s volleyball team, led by head coach Kim Eui-sung, fell to Japan 2-3 (18-25, 19-25, 25-22, 27-25, 10-15) in straight sets in the first match of Group F of the second qualifying round of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) U18 Women’s Championship 2024 at Ratchaburi Gymnasium in Ratchaburi, Thailand on Tuesday. A win for the Iranians in the group match between Chinese Taipei and Iran on the same day would have given Korea another chance to advance to the quarterfinals against Iran on Nov. 21, but a 3-0 shutout win for Chinese Taipei ended Korea’s hopes of reaching the final four. As a result, Korea failed to qualify for the 스포츠토토사이트 World Youth Women’s Championship, which is awarded to the fourth-place finisher in the tournament.

Korea started the match with setters Choi Yoon-young (Ilshin Women’s College) and Apojit Park Yoon-seo (Jungang Women’s College), outside hitters Park Yeo-reum (Jungang Women’s College) and Kim Ji-yoon (Jecheon Women’s College), middle blockers Jung Ah-rim (Mokpo Women’s College) and Ha Ye-ji (Sunmyeong Women’s College), and libero Yang Da-young (Mokpo Women’s College).

In the first set, Korea jumped out to a 6-2 lead thanks to several blocking points by Jung Ah-rim. Japan fought back with strong serves, but Korea never wavered. The duo of Park Yeo-yeom and Kim Ji-yoon continued to make their presence felt, extending the lead. At 15-13, Park scored a nice touchout point.

However, a stunning late surge from Japan turned the game on its head. At 15-17, Japan scored a fast-breathing open attack to pull within one point and keep the momentum alive. From there, Japan went into full swing. Several service aces helped the Japanese pull away. A rattled Korea rained down unforced errors and Japan took control. The Japanese held Korea to 17 points and fought their way to a 24-17 set point. With the momentum in their favor, Japan took the first set.

The second set was more of the same for Japan. Taking the lead with a touchout at 4-4, Japan never relinquished the lead until the end of the set. Japan’s setter Tanyama was particularly impressive. Utilizing mostly her left wing attacker, Tanyama mixed in back tosses to harass Korea. With Korea’s middle blocker line unable to respond, Japan scored easily.

Korea didn’t go down without a fight. They continued to play without conceding any significant points. At 12-14, the Koreans even managed to pull within a point of Japan thanks to a series of clever kills from Park Yeo-seom. However, from 14-17, the game changed after Park’s open attacks were met by a Japanese blocking wall. A series of 4-6 points followed, but Korea was unable to change the outcome, dropping the second set to Japan.

The third set was a thriller. Japan led 15-11 in the first set and it looked like the match would be over quickly, but the tide turned as the defeated Koreans fought back. Taking advantage of a Japanese error, Korea continued to chase down the lead with Park Yeo-seom scoring. Ha Ye-ji also added to the score with a fastbreak to make it 17-18. At 21-22, Park Yoon-seo’s celestial serve brought the momentum back in Korea’s favor.

Jung Ah-rim stepped in to save the day. At 22-22, Jeong completed the comeback with a fastball that caught her opponent off guard. Jung’s performance also encouraged captain Park Yeo-seom. She took advantage of the opponent’s blocking wall jumping ahead of her and scored a touchdown to win the set point at 24-22. Korea won the third set as Jung blocked Japan’s last-minute comeback attack.

Korea came out fired up for the fourth set. Unlike the previous sets, the fourth set was fought with Korea in the driver’s seat. Korea pounded the Japanese defense with a variety of attacking options. Jung Ah-rim and Ha Ye-ji’s fast-breaking attacks were on point, and Park Yoon-seo’s service aces were on point again. At 12-11, Park scored a long touchout to break Japan’s will to catch up.

However, unlike the previous sets, Japan’s spear tip was dull. They made a series of errors and missed good opportunities in between. South Korea continued to smile as the score remained within one or two points. Japan didn’t go down without a fight. They racked up points at 21-22 and finally tied the game. But Park Yeo-seom wouldn’t let Japan catch up. However, Japan’s time attack in the last minute of the game tied the score at 24-24 deuce, and the game was back in balance. It was Kim Jiyoon who stepped up to the plate. She blocked for 26-25 and diagonal attacked for 27-25 to give Korea the fourth set.

The fifth set was a battle of two teams. Japan scored the first four points to take a big lead. Korea refused to give up. Park Yeo-yeom and Park Yoon-seo continued to rack up points on both wings. At 6-9, they even pulled within two points after a Japanese attack error.

However, Korea was unable to turn the game around. At 9-13, Park Yoon-seo scored a touchdown to make it a one-point game, but the Koreans couldn’t find the back of the net. In the last minute, a Japanese right flank attack narrowly missed the line and the game ended in Korea’s favor.

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