Si Sa Ket, Thailand, July 20, 2016 – Unbeaten Thailand delighted home crowds with a comfortable 3-1 win over Vietnam in the final showdown of the “Princess Cup” 19th Est Cola South East Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship presented by SMM Sport on Wednesday.
The impressive 25-16 25-13 19-25 25-20 victory before a large number of over 4,000 spectators packing the Weesommai Gymnasium not only gave Thailand a clean sweep in the five-day tournament, but also handed the host side the prestigious trophy of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
In this crucial match against formidable Vietnam, which also have yet lost a set to their respective rivals en route to the showdown, Thailand remained strong in their starting line-up led by Pimpichaya Kokram and Chutchu-on Moksri, two of them joined the Thailand women’s national team for the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix. Skilful setter Natthanicha Jaisaen and hard-hitting Wipawee Srithong also became the backbone of the host side. Spearheading Vietnam were Luu Thi Hue, the 180cm powerful attacker who scored a team-high 16 points in the previous match against the Philippines, and Tran Viet Huong.
With the boisterous support from the home fans, Thailand got off to a brilliant start to seal victory in the first two sets 25-16 25-13. Conceding one set, Vietnam regrouped to revive their fortunes in the third set. Luu Thi Hue put Vietnam back on track as she penetrated the Thai defence with her aggressive attacks to silence the cheering Thai fans with a stunning 25-19 win in the third set.
The fourth set was more thrilling when Vietnam poured everything to catch up with the hosts. A thundering mid-court spike from Pimpichaya gave Thailand a crucial point for a commanding 24-18 lead, needing only one more point to wrap up the set and match. Nevertheless, Vietnam were just never-say-die as they hit back with great attacks to save two match-points before Pimpichaya spiked devastatingly from the mid-court to entirely end the rivals’ determined challenge.
Pimpichaya Kokram led Thailand with 24 points including 18 kills from 32 attempts and six aces. Chutchu-on Moksri and Wipawee Srithong added 18 and 11 respectively on attacks. Luu Thi Hue scored a match-high 12 points for Vietnam.
In the third place playoff earlier, confident Indonesia played more consistently to outclass the Philippines in comfortable straight sets 25-12 25-21 25-17 to pick up bronze medal, while Australia pulled off a 3-1 (25-17 22-25 26-24 25-17) win over New Zealand to finish fifth in the tournament. Malaysia did not show up at the competition venue according to the match schedule in the 7th-8th playoff, leaving Singapore to take the seventh position.
In the awards presentation, Thailand landed the prestigious Princess Cup and gold medals, while Vietnam and Indonesia finished second and third places respectively. Four Thai players won five individual awards. Chutchu-on Moksri captured the second Best Outside Spiker and the Most Valuable Players Awards, while Tichakorn Roonlert took the Best Middle Blocker, Wipawee Srithong claimed the first Best Outside Spiker and Pimpichaya Kokram wont the Best Opposite Award.
WEDNESDAY’S FINAL RESULTS
7th-8th PLAYOFF: Singapore b Malaysia 3-0 (25-0 25-0 25-0)
5th-6th PLAYOFF: Australia b New Zealand 3-1 (25-17 22-25 26-24 25-17)
BRONZE MEDAL MATCH: Indonesia b Philippines 3-0 (25-12 25-21 25-17)
GOLD MEDAL MATCH: Thailand b Vietnam 3-1 (25-16 25-13 19-25 25-20)
FINAL TEAM RANKINGS
6. New Zealand
Pimpichaya Kokram (Thailand)
Best Outside Spikers
Wipawee Srithong (Thailand)
Chutcha-on Moksri (Thailand)
Best Middle Blockers
Luu Thi Hue (Vietnam)
Tichakorn Roonlert (Thailand)
Arado Kathleen Faith (Philippines)
Nguyen Thu Hoai (Vietnam)
Most Valuable Player
Chutchu-on Moksri (Thailand)