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(2nd LD) (Asiad) S. Korea wins womens' volleyball in 20 yrs

All Headlines 22:24 October 02, 2014

(ATTN: ADDS comments in last 8 paras)
By Kim Boram

INCHEON, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea won gold in women's volleyball at the Asian Games for the first time in 20 years with a 3-0 victory over defending champion China Thursday.

South Korea beat China 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-21) in the gold-medal competition held in Songnim Gymnasium, snapping the opponent's Asiad winning streak at four.

Star spiker Kim Yeon-koung scored the match-best 26 points to help the team take revenge on the 3-2 defeat in the final against China at the Guangzhou Asian Games four years ago.

<YNAPHOTO path='C:/YNA/YNACLI~1/Down/Article/AEN20141002009252320_01_i.jpg' id='' title='' caption='The South Korean women&apos;s volleyball team celebrates their gold-medal winning victory over China at the Incheon Asian Games on Oct. 2, 2014. (Yonhap)'/>

South Korea outscored China in all attacking figures.

The winner harvested a total of 49 points from their 100 attack attempts, compared to China's 33 points from 95.

South Korea tallied eight blocks and three serve aces, while China scored five from block and zero from aces.

The home team ran away to 6-1 from the beginning of the first set as Kim's sharp spikes and smashes punctured China's defense.

China counterattacked to get closer to 12-10 with Yan Ni's quick attacks that effectively shunned South Korea's middle blockers.

Following a thrilling rally, Kim Yeon-koung's tipover gave South Korea a chance to end the seesaw battle at 13-10 and Han Song-yi's block broaden the gap to 16-11.

China scored three points in a row to trail 19-16 with Yin Na's block against Kim Yeon-koung, but South Korea came up with solid defense to end the first set at 25-20.

In the second set, South Korea went down 4-1 early but soon pulled even at 8-8 with Park Jeong-ah's ace.

Then, the South Koreans did some great work in serving the troubled China on reception and attack. The game quickly became lopsided.

Kim Hee-jin and Park Jeong-ah fielded two aces that helped the team gain a stable 17-10 lead and South Korea gave away only three points to win the set at 25-13.

The third set went in a similar fashion with the previous set. China took an early 7-1 lead on South Korea's mistakes in serving and attacking.

But the host came up with blistering smashes by Kim Yeon-koung and Kim Hee-jin and blocks by Han Song-yi to slash the deficit to 11-10.

Kim Hee-jin registered fine spikes and blocks to make it 13-13, and Lee Da-yeong's block gave the team first control in the set to 14-13.

Captain Kim Yeon-koung fired formidable back attacks to make it a wider 17-13 and the South Korean team continued its strength to meet the gold-medal point at 24-19.

China saved two match points, but Kim Hee-jin spiked to end the set at 25-21.

Kim Yeon-koung, who plays for the Turkish club Fenerbahce, said her team studied everything about the opponent.

"We've prepared a lot for this Asian Games. We've trained hard and focused only on this win," she said, referring to South Korea's two straight previous setbacks to China.

"I know China is not easy to beat, but it was different today. We didn't feel we're going to lose even though we were a few points behind."

She now set her sights high on the upcoming Rio Olympics.

"This is my first time winning a competition as a national team member," she said. "My next gold is an Olympic medal. After winning this gold, I want to collect a medal from the (Rio) Olympics."

Led by Kim, South Korea reached the semifinals at the London Olympics but failed to snatch a medal.

Coach Lee Sun-koo said all players did their best to reach the final stage.

"Every player played far better than expected. I'm satisfied with their performance today," said Lee. "Warm supports and cheers by home crowds were a big boost to our success."


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