Volleyball

QATAR STAGE STRAIGHT-SET WIN AGAINST KOREA

Qatar played a well-composed match as they took the 3-0 (25-16, 32-30, 25-22) win against Korea on Saturday at the 21st Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship in Chiba Port Arena.

Youssef Oughlaf led Qatar with 16 points, while Renan Ribeiro (11 points) and Abdulwahid Osman (10) helped with the scoring. Korea’s Han Kukmin charted a total of 24 points in the loss.

Qatar initiated their offense in the right flank with Oughlaf, while Ribeiro and Nikola Vasic helped with the passing unit. Coach Camilo Andres Soto also brought in Ahmed Noaman Gamal and Abdulwahid Osman to reinforce their block defense.

Korea relied on their usual heavy hitters, as Han Kukmin and Kim Dongmin got he start from coach Park Sam Ryong.

The Qatar side controlled the tempo of the first set, as they were running their plays quite effectively, leaving their opponents with minimal momentum to work upon. They took the first set at 25-16.

In the second set, Korea tried to improve their play, passing the ball better that they could start engaging the middle attack. They still needed to find better workarounds to address their opponents’ blocking, which made them, in some instances, misfire their attacks in their search of variation. They also started to serve long or into the net, which further frazzled their momentum.

Qatar stuck to their plays to the wing attack, and rarely utilized combinations, simply because those were working well for them. They also posted good coverage, which helped them play well in transition.

Korea worked their way back into the set as Kim Dongmin delivered his attacks in and against the opponents’ blockers. Their backcourt also provided great support in keeping the passes tight and precise.

Korea went ahead to grab the set point, but Qatar’s Oughlaf unleashed from the right to equalize and extend the set.

The Qatar side went on to take the second set, 32-30, off Korea’s haywire attack.

In the next set, Qatar retained their quality and composure to maintain the slight edge over the opponents. Ribeiro was just as reliable in passing and hitting. Nadir Ababacar Sadikh reinforced the offense with his attacks.

Korea tried to play along this tempo, making quick, good decisions in the counter-attack. They were able to save a set point, until Ribeiro swung from the left side for Qatar’s 25-22 win in the final set.

Qatar will now look for the best possible finish as they gun for victory in the 5th-6th place classification match on Sunday. Their best record in the competition came via a fourth place finish during the 2015 edition in Tehran, Iran.

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