Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, April 7 – Fast-improving Australia avenged the loss to Myanmar in the Pool A preliminaries to beat the host side in straight sets 25-14 25-23 25-19 to finish 7th place at the SMM 11th Asian Boys’ U19 Volleyball Championship at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium Hall B on Wednesday.
Australia’s form has been improving in leaps and bounds after they stunned Thailand 3-1 in the playoff match at the round of the last eight teams before mounting a strong challenge against China in the quarter-finals despite the fact that the Aussies went down in close straight sets. As Myanmar were playing without their key player in Aung Zaw Htet, who sustained a left knee injury, Australia had no problem in effortlessly beating the hosts in the first set 25-14. Myanmar fought back gallantly in the second set, but Australia held on their nerves to win 25-23. The third set was also close but Australia fared much better to capture the set 25-19, match and the 7th place. Myanmar came in 8th position in this biennial tournament.
Jayden Fathers led Australia with 13 points including 10 kills and one ace serve, while Thomas Heptinstall contributed 10 points through attack hits. Ya Htike Wai collected 16 points for Myanmar.
After the match, Australia’s head coach Andrew McCaskill said, “I’m very proud of my boys. To come seventh is a test well for us. We’ll never know where we will finish. So, I’m very happy with everybody in my team. Myanmar are not that bad. Sometimes, they were challenging, but at the end we showed our skill and a passion to finish it in three sets. After this we will go back to Australia and these players will prepare for the Asian Junior Championship in one year time.”
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