Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs represented Asia at the 2014 and 2015 editions of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship
Bangkok, Thailand, August 27, 2015 - The 2015 Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship in Ha Nam, Vietnam from September 12 to 20 promises a thrilling event, with nine teams competing for a ticket for the 2016 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship.
Hosts Thong Tin Lienvietpostbank are due to take on Taiwan Power from Chinese Taipei in the curtain-raiser at the 7,500 capacity Ha Nam Competition Hall on September 12. The annual continental competition has attracted nine teams. Pool A includes Vietnam's Thong Tin Lienvietpostbank, Kazakhstan's Zhetyssu, Thailand's Bangkok Glass and Taiwan Power from Chinese Taipei.
Back to defend their title are Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs, who sharpened their skills against the world's best club teams at the Women's Club World Championship twice in 2014 and 2015. The Japanese side are in Pool B with China's Zhejiang, the Philippines' Petron Blaze Spikers, Islamic Azad University from Iran and a club team from DPR Korea, yet to be announced.
The pool round-robin preliminaries will kick off on September 12, with Zhejiang opening their campaign against Azad University. Petron Blaze Spikers will take on the team from DPR Korea, hosts Thong Tin Lienvietpostbank will play Taiwan Power. The first day's last match will be Zhetyssu against Thailand's Bangkok Glass.
The quarterfinals will then be held on September 18, with the team finishing first in Pool A going up against the fourth team in Pool B and the team finishing second in Pool A playing the third team in Pool B.
The four winning teams will next advance to the semifinals on September 19, while the losers will be relegated to the 5th-8th classification round.
Among the participating teams, eight have already submitted their entry forms to the Asian Volleyball Confederation Headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand.
Half of the host team's players are Vietnamese national team players, including Nguyen Linh Chi, Au Hong Nhung, Pham Thi Lien, Do Thi Minh and Bui Thi Nga, while Taiwan Power will also feature national team players spearheaded by devastating left-hander Chen Wan-Ting, Wen I-Tzu and Yang Yi-Chen.
Zhetyssu will field the cream of the crop with the likes of Tatyana Pyurova, Marina Storozhenko, Tatyana Mudritskaya, Lyudmila Anarbayeva and Inna Matveyeva, while Bangkok Glass will also field a strong team including Pleumjit Thinkaow, Wilavan Apinyapong, Jarasporn Bandasak and Pornpan Guedpard, all Thai national team players.
Pre-tournament favourites Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs from Japan will feature left-hander Miyu Nagaoka, Risa Shinabe, Nana Iwasaka, YukiIshii and Risa Ishaibashi, while former China national team setter Wang Na, Shan Danna, Li Jing and the 1.93m-tall Li Ying will take the Chinese club forward.
Only the champions in this top-flight tournament will represent Asia in the 2016 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship between October 4 and 9, with the host country still to be confirmed.
China's Guangdong Evergrande are the only team from Asia with a top-three finish at the World Championship, which came in 2013 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Since the inaugural edition of the Asian Women's Club Championship in 1999 in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, teams from China have won 13 medals including seven gold and four silver. Thailand won three editions in a row from 2009 to 2011, while Japan and Kazakhstan share two gold apiece. Japan captured the 2002 and 2014 titles, on both occasions in Thailand, while Rahat Almaty and Rahat CSKA handed Kazakhstan victories in 2004 and 2007. Korea claimed the remaining title, with LG Caltex landing the first Asian Women's Club title in 1999.