Vietnam beat Taiwan 3-1 on Friday to finish at the top of the first group stage of the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship after winning all three matches.
They had beat Uzbekistan 3-0 on Thursday and on Wednesday had a shocking 3-2 upset win over South Korea, Asia’s fourth strongest team who are 12 places above Vietnam in the world rankings.
Vietnam's volleyball players during the game against Taiwan at the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship on Sept. 1, 2023.
In the Taiwan match, Vietnam won the first two sets but lost the third.
They quickly put the team back together to lead and win the fourth set.
Vietnam and South Korea, group C’s second-placed team, will enter the second group stage with the top two teams from group A, Thailand, and Australia. Vietnam will not have to play South Korea again in this stage, but they still earn two points as their victory in the previous stage is counted again.
The second group stage will be held on Sunday and Monday, where teams will fight for slots in the semifinals.
In the other bracket, Japan, India, China, and Kazakhstan will play among each other for seats at the semifinal table.
The 2023 Asian Women's Volleyball Championship is taking place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6. The top three teams in the tournament will qualify for the 2025 Women's Volleyball World Championship.
After 20 editions, China have the most titles with 13, followed by Japan (five) and Thailand (two). Vietnam's best result was fifth place in both 2015 and 2017.