Vietnam women’s volleyball team still suffered a heavy defeat against the Czech Republic

The Vietnamese women’s volleyball team fought valiantly against the Czech Republic in the semifinals of the 2024 World Volleyball Challenge Cup on July 6 but ultimately succumbed to a 0-3 defeat.

Heading into the 2024 World Volleyball Challenge Cup, the Vietnamese team captivated fans with their beautiful and dynamic playstyle. Even though team captain Thanh Thuy was not in peak physical condition, Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen shone brightly, scoring 30 points in the match against hosts Philippines and helping Vietnam secure a 3-0 victory to reach the semifinals for the first time in history.

In the semifinals, Vietnam faced a significant challenge against the Czech Republic, currently ranked 16th in the world. The Czech team, known for their technical prowess, diverse tactics, and impressive physical attributes, had convincingly defeated Argentina in the previous round. Aware of the challenge, coach Nguyen Tuan Kiet fielded his strongest lineup, including Doan Thi Lam Oanh, Hoang Thi Kieu Trinh, Nguyen Thị Trinh, Le Thanh Thuy, Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen, and libero Nguyen Khanh Dang. The most notable change was the return of captain Thanh Thuy, replacing Dinh Thi Tra Giang.

As anticipated, the Vietnamese team struggled in the first set. With their height advantage, the Czech blockers effectively neutralized Bích Tuyen’s powerful spikes from both wings. Additionally, Thanh Thuy’s attempts at tips from the back row were unsuccessful. Despite her efforts, the Vietnamese captain only managed to score four points in the first set.

When Vietnam’s two stars were shut down, Nguyen Thi Trinh emerged as the standout performer, using her intelligence and agility to score crucial points. On the other side, the Czech team didn’t play exceptionally well, but their blocking and efficient use of opportunities by players like Havelkova and Koulisiani secured them a 25-19 victory in the first set.

The second set saw even more effective blocking from the Czech Republic, with Koulisiani making five crucial blocks. Thanh Thuy continued to lead with successful cross-court hits, while Bich Tuyen contributed five points with her spikes from the back row. Despite these efforts, Vietnam fell 14-25 in the second set.

The third set featured relentless efforts from the Vietnamese team. Substitute Tu Linh defended well against the Czech’s powerful attacks and scored two points, helping Vietnam take an early lead. However, Vietnam began to falter at the 10-point mark, allowing the Czech Republic to pull ahead.

In the closing stages, Bich Tuyen moved to her familiar opposite position and scored three consecutive points to keep Vietnam within reach. Yet, the Czech team showcased their composure, sealing a 25-19 victory and winning the match 3-0.

Despite the loss, coach Nguyen Tuan Kiet’s team will have another opportunity to showcase their skills in the third-place match against Belgium (ranked 13th in the world) tomorrow (July 7). Meanwhile, the Czech Republic will face Puerto Rico in the final.

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