Volleyball News

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 16, 2017 – Thailand, Japan and Chinese Taipei maintained their remarkable unbeaten record at the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall, as Iran succumbed to first loss to in-form Vietnam on Tuesday

Thailand, powered by three national spikers including Chatchu-on Moksri and Pimpichaya Kokram, produced a magnificent come-from-behind 3-1 victory over fast-improving Kazakhstan to win their first playoff match at the round of the last eight teams.

Against Kazakhstan, Thailand recovered from the nervous first set, which they went down 24-26, to capture the remaining three sets 25-21, 25-10, 25-10 for a fantastic come-from-behind 3-1 win.

Chatchu-on Moksri scored a match-high 27 points including 25 kills from 60 attempts, with Pimpichaya Kokram adding 17 points including 3 ace serves. Aidana Oryntayeva led Kazakhstan with 9 points.

“We started nervously in the first set and became more prone with unforced errors. After losing one set, we tried to improve on our reception and attacks. We sent in Ajcharaporn (Kongyot), who is highly-experienced and the team captain. She did a great job as she brought the team back on the right track. After winning the second set, I think we played a relaxed game and won the third and fourth sets comfortably. Against Chinese Taipei on Wednesday, I admit that an uphill task awaits us. However, if we play as we did in the last three sets against Kazakhstan, I’m still upbeat that we can beat them. However, we have to play more carefully with confidence and consistency,” Thailand’s head coach Nataphon Srisamutnark commented.

Chinese Taipei had a field day when they won their first playoff match with 3-0 demotion of Hong Kong at the round of the last eight teams. With the convincing 25-16 25-13 25-12 win over Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei still had a perfect run without losing a set to their respective rivals to capture the pole position in Pool E, with Thailand, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong in second, third and fourth places respectively. Chinese Taipei and Thailand had similar six points from straight two wins, but the former had better set ratio. Both sides will battle it out on Wednesday to decide the Pool E winners.

Formidable Japan also made their mark on Tuesday when they overwhelmed Malaysia with their exceptional tactics and splendid teamwork to beat the spirited rivals in comfortable straight sets 25-14 25-14 25-6.

Mivako Osanai led Japan with 11 points including 9 kills from 15 attempts, while Alicia Yii collected 6 points for Malaysia.

“For us, it’s an easy match against Malaysia. Low Mei Cing and Ngin Jia Ning are good spikers of Malaysia, while setter Angela Tang has a talent and so, to match them tactically, we prepared our plan to play them. Our players played according to game plan. We next take on Iran. We have never seen them play and I think the match against them must be a tough test. Today, our setter performed well and I think she has something more to learn in the Wednesday’s match against Iran. We will try our best to beat them. We have already aimed for a place in the semi-finals as it is possible that we will play Hong Kong in the quarter-finals and I’m sure we can beat them,” Japan’s head coach Kiyoshi Abo commented after the match.

Iran, Pool D winners at the preliminary round, became a casualty on Tuesday to go down 19-25 17-25 19-25 to much stronger Vietnam in Pool F. The 187cm hard-hitting Tran Thi Thanh Thuy turned a smashing machine for Vietnam as she topscored with 21 points including 17 kills.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka struggled hard to beat Macao in dramatic four sets 25-23 24-26 25-21 26-24 at the 9th-13th classification round on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s results
Playoff matches at round of last eight teams
Thailand b Kazakhstan 3-1 (24-26 25-21 25-10 25-10)
Vietnam b Iran 3-0 (25-19 25-17 25-19)
Chinese Taipei b Hong Kong 3-0 (25-16 25-13 25-12)
Japan b Malaysia 3-0 (25-14 25-14 25-6)

9th-13th classification round
Sri Lanka b Macao 3-1 (25-23 24-26 25-21 26-24)

Match schedule
May 17, 2017
9th-13th classification round
Uzbekistan v New Zealand

Playoff matches at round of last eight teams
Thailand v Chinese Taipei
Kazakhstan v Hong Kong
Japan v Iran
Vietnam v Malaysia


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