The Southeast Asian powerhouse is the lone squad in the VNL to appoint their libero as captain
All eyes will be on Piyanut Pannoy as she makes her debut with the captain’s bar emblazoned across her jersey at the 2023 Volleyball Nations league.
Following the announcement of their wide roster that thrilled millions of fans, coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul followed up by naming his formidable squad for the first week in Antalya, Türkiye from May 30 to June 4.
Piyanut will lead as captain of Thailand for the second time since skippering the team earlier this month at the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, where they won their 16th gold medal. The libero’s appointment as captain also makes Thailand the only team to do so in the VNL.
Her promotion to captain comes as no surprise because a player of her caliber deserves that recognition. The defensive doyen has embodied the team’s core values of hard work and dedication throughout the years. And she is, by far, the most experienced of all the athletes in the current squad.
The 33-year-old libero continues the legacy of her near-contemporaries – Pleumjit Thinkaow, Wilavan Apinyapong, Nootsara Tomkom, Onuma Sittirak, Malika Kanthong, Amporn Hyapha and Wanna Buakaew – by leading the new superstars as they venture into their next journey.
Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Chatchu-on Moksri, Pimpichaya Kokram, Thatdao Nuekjang and Hattaya Bamrungsuk will join Piyanut on Week 1, together with setter Pornpun Guedpard who missed the SEA Games due to injury.
Thailand’s Week 1 opponents in Antalya are reigning VNL champions Italy on May 30 at 17:00 local time (14:00 UTC), Canada on June 1, Poland on June 2 and Korea on June 4 all at 14:00 (11:00 UTC).
On Week 2, they will be in Brasilia before they head home to Bangkok for the third week of preliminary round. Last year, Thailand made history as they entered the Top 8 for the first time. They are aiming this year to repeat and surpass that milestone by qualifying to the Finals in Arlington, Texas.
Thailand Week 1 Roster
Outside hitters: Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Chatchu-on Moksri, Sasipaporn Janthawisut, Wipawee Srithong
Opposites: Pimpichaya Kokram, Thanacha Sooksod
Middle blockers: Thatdao Nuekjang, Hattaya Bamrungsuk, Chitaporn Kamlangmak, Jarasporn Bundasak
Setters: Pornpun Guedpard, Sirima Manakij
Libero: Piyanut Pannoy (C), Supattra Pairoj
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