Wellington, New Zealand, April 23, 2009 – Fiji faced off against Tonga in the women’s tournament, winning a crucial match here Thursday that helped them clinch a ticket to the 2010 FIVB World Championship Asian second-round preliminary tournament.
With the victory, Fiji earned five points from two wins and one defeat in the four-team Asian women’s Pool A preliminary round. New Zealand has collected four points from two wins and no losses. The Kiwis are scheduled to meet winless Tonga and are expected to win their last match. Samoa has completed its three matches, earning four points, one behind Fiji.
This women’s preliminary round tournament drew teams from Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. The top two teams will enter the second round. The tournament winner will play against Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Maldives in Asian Pool B of the second round in Ust-Kamenogorsk of Kazakhstan through June 12-14 while the runner-up will go to Nakhonpathon of Thailand in June to compete against Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Bangladesh in Asian Pool C of the second round.
In today’s only match, Fiji was pushed by Tonga in the first and second set, both finishing with nail-biting rallies.
Top scorer for Fiji was Anaseini Seniloli with 21 points, including 19 kill spikes. For the Tongans the top scorer was Loata Filisonu’u with 16 points.
In the first set the match stayed even until 24-23 when Fiji’s Tirisiane Logavatu aced Tonga to take the set 25-23.
Tonga raced out to an 8-0 lead in the second set, the Fijian team clawed their way back slowly and in a repeat of the first set won 25-23 thanks to a huge kill by Anaseini Seniloli of Fiji.
In the third set Tonga took the initiative and once again closed the gap at the end of the set but Fijian held on to win 26 -24 and the match 3-0.
On the last day of the Women’s tournament, New Zealand is to play against Tonga.
Women’s schedule and results: