Monday , July 22 2024

Tuyền outplays to push Việt Nam to first-ever Challenger Cup semi-finals

Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền shone brilliantly to send Việt Nam to the women’s 2024 Volleyball Challenger Cup semi-finals for the first time in history

Volleyball

Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền is the best player of the match between Việt Nam and the Philippines on July 6. Photos of FIVB

HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền shone brilliantly, propelling Việt Nam to the women’s 2024 Volleyball Challenger Cup semi-finals for the first time in history.

Việt Nam, on July 5, defeated the host country, the Philippines, amidst the inspiring support of their fervent home fans. The match concluded with a score ò 25-14, 25-22, 25-21 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

Spearheaded by outside hitter Tuyền, Việt Nam prevailed in all scoring elements. Tuyền herself scored a staggering 30 points across the three sets to top the charts of the match. She spiked at a 53 per cent success rate and contriburted three kill blocks to secure her team’s victory.

The match also marked the return of Vietnamese star captain Trần Thị Thanh Thúy to action after recovering from an injury.

The duo created a lot of difficulties for the Filipinos while their defenders worked well to block the hosts’ attempts in all three sets before wrapping up Việt Nam victory.

Việt Nam will take on Czech Republic, which swept their quarter-final against Argentina in straight sets 25-15, 25-22, 25-16, on July 6 night.

Vietnamese players celebrate their poinst scored during the Challenger Cup match against the Philippines on July 6.

It was the first time in history Việt Nam achieved a win in a Challenger Cup game and reached the semifinals of the tournament. This was their second appearance in the competition. In their debut last year, they failed to progress past the quarter-finals.

“Before the match, I was a little bit scared, but when I have a chance to play with my teammates I feel very happy and I want to take that chance. I am really proud of my teammates. I think they did very well,” captain Thúy said after the match.

“This is really a big opportunity for us to play in the Volleyball Nations League 2024, so we will try our best to take advantage of it.”

It was the second time Czech advanced to the Challenger Cup semi-finals. The first time was when they progressed further ahead to the final before settling for silver in 2019.

In the other semis, Belgium will take on Puerto Rico. They swept their quarterfinal encounters with Sweden and Kenya, respectively, to continue their quest towards the podium.

This was the second time in history Belgium advanced to the Challenger Cup semi-finals. The first time was in 2022, when they went on to the final to claim silver.

Puerto Rico advanced to the Challenger Cup semifinals for the third time in the history of the competition. In 2018 and 2022, they finished with bronze.

At the FIVB Challenger Cup, eight teams play in a knockout stage format. The champion team will qualify for the next year’s Volleyball Nations League as a challenger team. VNS

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