|Big hitters: Thong Tin Lienvietpostbank represents Viet Nam at the Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship next week in Ha Nam Province. — Photo nhaminh.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — With nine teams competing, the Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship to be staged in Viet Nam from September 12 to 20, promises to be a thrilling event.
These nine teams will also be competing for a ticket for the 2016 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship.
The host team, Thong Tin Lienvietpostbank is due to take on Taiwan Power from Chinese Taipei in the curtain-raiser at the 7,500 capacity Ha Nam Province's Gymnasium on September 12.
The host team is in Pool A, which also includes Kazakhstan's Zhetyssu and Thailand's Bangkok Glass.
"It will be a competitive tournament as the participants have registered their strongest line-ups," Tran Duc Phan, general secretary of the Volleyball Federation of Viet Nam, said.
Thong Tin Lienvietpostbank, the national defending champion club, is home to many national team members such as Au Thi Hong Nhung, Nguyen Thi Linh Chi, and Do Thi Minh.
On the other side is Taiwan Power, spearheaded by devastating left-hander Chen Wan-ting, Wen I-tzu and Yang Yi-chen, who are all national team members.
Zhetyssu fields the cream of the crop with the likes of Tatyana Pyurova, Marina Storozhenko and Inna Matveyeva, while Bangkok Glass will also field a strong team that includes Pleumjit Thinkaow, Wilavan Apinyapong, Jarasporn Bandasak and Pornpan Guedpard, all Thai national team players.
The Thai team is also home to powerful spiker Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa, a Viet Nam national team player.
Back to defend its title is Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs, which sharpened its skills against the world's best club teams at the Women's Club World Championship twice in 2014 and 2015. The Japanese side is in Pool B with China's Zhejiang, the Philippines' Petron Blaze Spikers, Islamic Azad University from Iran and 4.25 Sports Club of North Korea.
The teams will compete in the round-robin preliminaries.
The quarter-finals will then be held on September 18.
The four winning teams will advance to the semi-finals a day later, while the losers will be relegated to the fifth to eighth classification round.
The tournament will be aired live on VTC channels and will be relayed to 64 countries and territories in Asia.
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 is the only team from Asia with a top-three finish at the World Championship, in Switzerland, in 2013.
Since the inaugural edition of the event in 1999 in Thailand, teams from China have the most wins with 13 medals, including seven golds and four silvers. — VNS