Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 13, 2017 – Kazakhstan kicked off their campaign at the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship with an exhausting five-set 25-13, 25-15, 23-25, 22-25, 15-11victory over Australia on the opening day at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall on Saturday.
Led by powerful attackers Yekaterina Sakharova and Polina Kostiva, the Kazakhs got off to a great start to take the first two sets comfortably 25-13, 25-15.
However, Australia, strengthened by Emma Burton and Jennifer Tait, did not surrender easily as they stormed back aggressively to take the next two sets 25-23, 25-22. In the deciding set, both teams poured everything they had, but the Kazakh girls held on to take the decider 15-11 and match.
“This is my first experience as a coach of the Kazakhstan national volleyball team. It is very important for us to grow up as a team. We played well in the first two sets, but the Australians came back in the third and fourth sets. In the last set, we learned that Australia wanted to win, but we were just lucky to finally win this match. I am very glad for my girls’ victory today,” Dzianis Matsveyeu, head coach of Kazakhstan, said after the match.
Yekaterina Sakharova emerged as the Kazakhstan’s top scorer with 15 points. Polina Kostiva added 13 points. Emma Burton scored a team-high with 18 points including 13 kills and 4 blocks for Australia.
Kazakhstan will next play Sri Lanka on Sunday at their Pool C preliminary round.
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