Thailand's Kulna and Chinese Zhang Yin on the net
Beijing, China, August 17, 2007
In the last quarter-final match of the day, Angela Vieira/Danielle da Conceicao Cunha Vivian defeated another Chinese duo Li Yang/Hu Anna in straight 21-14, 21-18.
These two winning teams will join Swiss Isabelle Eusabeth Klara Forrer/Sarah Schmocker and Yue Yuan/Zhang Wenwen in the semifinals.
The Thai duo played some clever drop ball and well-schemed placements to catch up with the Chinese team and even reeled off four points to overtake the lead at 10-8 in the opening set. With a good sense of position, the Thai team also blocked Chinese attack on several occasions. Zhang and Ji lost the set at 21-18 after saving one set point.
Kulna and Puklongploy seemed to find the way to hold off the stronger Chinese in the second set, pulling off fantastic defense in the back court and on the net. They even delivered more spikes than the top seeds. Zhang and Ji, who had been criticized by their coach Zhang Zhenxi for their absent-minded and sloppy play in the preliminaries, lost the second set at 21-19.
"They played very good volleyball and we are in bad form since the opening match," said Ji.
"Our coach studied Chinese players' video and made out careful schemes towards them," team captain Kulna, 163cm, said after the match. "We don't think about next match, just play match by match."
Angela Vieira/Danielle da Conceicao Cunha Vivian defeated Li Yang/Hu Anna with good combination of strong attacks and clever drops, leading all the way to win the match without ant real challenge from the rivals..
Earlier this morning, Swiss Isabelle Eusabeth Klara Forrer/Sarah Schmocker dashed the local hopes again as they beat Shen Rongrong/Guo Qian 21-15, 21-19 in the quarterfinals without having to raise their game much above the ordinary.
Their reward will be a semifinal against Yue Yuan and Zhang Wenwen, who also gained a spot in the final four after producing an impressive display on the soft sand to sweep aside Zhang Dan/Ma Yuanyuan in an all-Chinese match 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) in the second quarter-final match this morning.