South Korea bags bronze medal in Asian U23 Women's Volleyball with big win over Japan
Korea pulls off a surprising straight-sets win in teh battle for third over a usually tough Japan side. Czeasar Dancel  

KOREA bagged the bronze medal after a 26-24, 25-23, 25-15 victory over Japan on Saturday in the 2015 Asian Under 23 Women’s Volleyball Championships at the Philsports Arena.

Soyoung Lee and Hyeri An finished with 14 points each, while Hyejin Ha chipped in 11 for Korea, which was made to fight in the first two sets but had an easy time in the third when Japan piled up the errors.

The Koreans were ahead by just 14-13 in the third but took full control with a 7-1 run for a 21-14 lead and was never threatened, finishing the match with four straight points.

“We started slow,” Korea coach Sungjin Hong said through an interpreter. “Japan is a good team (particularly in) defense but Korea was able to do it (win) because of our combination attacks.”   

“The Korea team just wanted to win,” he added.

Kaori Mabashi scored 13 points, while Nanaka Sakamoto and Yuka Imamura combined for 22 markers for Japan, which settled for fourth place.

Although Korea had more digs than Japan (42-27), the Japanese were better in blocking (11-7) and took care of the floor defense more effectively to register 31 excellent receptions against 23 by Korea.

But for Japan coach Kiyoshi Abo, those numbers don’t matter.

“Korean team has a good fighting spirit,” said Abo through an interpreter. “They want to win rather than us. Our offense was good, our defense was bad and unfortunately we made too many mistakes.”

Japan gave away 19 points to Korea through errors, while the Koreans had 14 miscues in the match that lasted one hour and 32 minutes.

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