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Kazakhstan secure berth for 2018 World Championship final round qualifiers

 
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, May 29, 2017 - Kazakhstan stamped their authority over the Central Asian Zonal Qualification Tournament for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship following their impressive 3-1 (27-25 21-25 25-19 25-14) victory over hosts Kyrgyzstan in their last match at the packed 1,000-seater Gazprom Gym in Bishkek on Sunday.

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At the end of the three-team single round-robin competition on Sunday, Kazakhstan emerged as winners of the three-day meet after scoring five points from two wins. Pakistan finished second with three points from one win against one loss, with hosts Kyrgyzstan in third place with one point from successive two losses.

Winners Kazakhstan secured their place at the Final Round Qualifications in Iran. Hosts Iran will compete in Pool A with China, Korea, Qatar and Kazakhstan in coming August, while Pool B sees Australia hosting Japan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and New Zealand.

Against the host side on Sunday, Kazakhstan started well to take a 16-13 lead in the first set, but Kyrgyzstan, backed by cheering home crowds, fought back aggressively to overtake the visitors 21-18. Still, Kazakhstan proved steadier to win the hard-fought set 27-25.

Kyrgyzstan recovered from one set loss to attack spectacularly and block solidly in the second set, seizing the chance when the visitors’ game was riddled with unforced errors. Kyrgyzstan led from start to finish to clinch the set 25-21.

With their tactics improved defensively and offensively in the third set, Kazakhstan won several crucial points through their high blocks and powerful attacks to take the set 25-19 for a 2-1 lead.

Kazakhstan totally dominated the fourth set. Leading initially 8-6, the visitors stretched it to 16-10 and 21-12, allowing the host side only two more points to wrap up the comfortable set 25-14 and the 113-minute match.

Vorivodin Vitaliy scored a team-high 18 points for Kazakhstan inclining 16 kills and one block, with Donets Vasiliy contributing 15 points from 8 attacks, 2 blocks and 5 ace serves. Kanybek Uulu Onolbek led Kyrgyzstan with 27 points from 22 spikes, 2 blocks and 3 ace serves. Idirisov Emil added 18 points including 16 kills.

Final results
May 26: Pakistan b Kyrgyzstan 3-2 (25-18 25-18 15-25 22-25 16-14)
May 27: Kazakhstan b Pakistan 3-2 (21-25 25-22 25-22 18-25 15-13)
May 28: Kazakhstan b Kyrgyzstan 3-1 (27-25, 21-25, 25-19 25-14)

Final rankings

1.    Kazakhstan 5 points - qualified for Final Round Qualifications in Iran
2.    Pakistan 3 points
3.    Kyrgyzstan 1 point

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