Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 11, 2017 – Thailand rallied from a set down in the beginning and held out when Argentina attempted a comeback to score their first win, 4-2 (11-15, 15-5, 15-10, 15-12, 13-15, 15-10) at the 2017 FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship at Arena Stozice here on Monday.
Thailand enjoyed a lead in the fifth that should have seen them comofortably take the match 4-1, but the South Americans caught up 11-11 and reached set point at 12-14 before Sol Piccolo sent a belter straight down the line from the right for the set.
All matches in Ljubljana are played under a new scoring system currently being tested: a best-of-seven, 15-point set format.
Wipawee Srithong powered Thailand with 20 points, including a tournament-high of four aces. Watchareeya Nuanjam scored 14 and Patcharaporn Sittisad was also on double digits with 12.
Argentina coach Martin Lopez tried to change the flow of the game with several substitutions – and indeed, Camila Hiruela came on in the third to emerge Argentina’s best scorer on 12 points. But Thailand kept the pressure and finished with another tournament high of 11 aces for the whole team.
Thailand coach, Chamnan Dokmai: “We are not familiar with the [new scoring] system which is very fast-paced. And due to the changes in serving, players always worry about steping on the line so that affected our serves. That is why our serves weren’t good today. We feel okay with this match but we want to improve ourselves and hopefully the next match will be better.”
Thailand captain, Boonlert Tichaya: “Today we played quite well and we’re happy with the result. We had to adapt to the new 15-point system and we tried not to make any mistakes. At the end we succeded and we are very happy about today. Tomorrow we will face other opponents and it will be tough.”
Argentina coach, Martin Lopez: “I think in some moments we played very well in attack. Thailand were always one step ahead, especially in reception. We knew throughout the game who we we were playing against and I still believe we did well as a team. At the moment the defeat costs us a lot but we have to admit Thailand played better.”
Argentina captain Antonela Fortuna: “We knew that it was an important match but in the end we performed poorly at receiving.”
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