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(3rd LD) (Asiad) S. Korean women's volleyball team advances to semifinals

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2014-09-27
(3rd LD) (Asiad) S Korea-volleyball
(3rd LD) (Asiad) S. Korean women's volleyball team advances to semifinals
(ATTN: RECASTS/ADDS more info from 11th para)
INCHEON, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean women's volleyball team cruised to the semifinals of the Incheon Asian Games after beating Hong Kong in straight sets on Saturday.
Without volleyball star Kim Yeon-koung in the lineup, South Korea pulled off a comfortable 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-11) victory over Hong Kong for the semifinal berth at Songnim Gymnasium. The country is eying its first Asiad title in 20 years.
The host overwhelmed its opponent and finished the game in one hour and three minutes.
Yang Hyo-jin scored 13 points including five aces, while Bae Yoo-na lent support with 12 points.
South Korea is a strong contender for the gold medal at this year's Asian Games. It has not given up a set in the group round matches against India, Thailand and Japan.
It will take on the winner between Japan and Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Coach Lee Sun-goo said he has set his target at the gold-medal match probably against China, as his players are expected to clinch the berth for the final on Tuesday. South Korea beat Japan 3-0 in the preliminary round.
"I expect we will go to the mat with China in the final. Blocking their attacks is the key for the title," he said, referring to China's tall attackers Zhang Changning and Yan ni, who are 193㎝ and 192㎝ tall, respectively.
"We've worked out for the final match against China. We've exercised to move our blocks after guessing their spike routines."
The women's volleyball final is slated for Thursday.



Meanwhile, the South Korean men's squad jumped to first place in Group A with three straight wins, gaining a berth in the next playoff round.
In the final group round match, South Korea routed Qatar 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22) in one hour and 19 minutes.
Two hitters led the victory, as opposite Park Chul-woo managed 13 spikes and two aces to earn 15 points, while outside hitter Jeon Kwang-in spiked 13.
The home team is grouped with India and Iran and will have the first match with the former on Sunday and the latter on Monday to win a berth in the quarters.
South Korea, the Group A winner, starts the playoff round with a one-game advantage.
South Korean coach Park Ki-won said Iran is the strongest in the group as the Middle Eastern team finished sixth in the world championships that ended last week. South Korea tied at 17th among 24 competing countries.
"We know the Iranian squad well, and they know us as well. Nothing to hide," said Park. "But we can't beat a familiar team sometimes. That's volleyball."
Setter Han Sun-soo said his teammates will not let their guard down against Iran even though they are guaranteed a quarterfinal berth if they win the first match against India.
"I haven't thought of defeat," said the captain of the team. "We don't see the game light. We will win the game and keep spirits up until the final."
brk@yna.co.kr
(END)


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