Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 19, 2017 – New Zealand came back from one set down to defeat the smaller-built Sri Lanka in thrilling four sets 16-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16 at their 11th-12th playoff at the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall on Friday.
Sri Lanka started aggressively to win the comfortable opening set 25-16, making use of the Kiwis’ dismal start and unforced mistakes. However, New Zealand took their height advantage to dominate the next three sets to win 25-23, 25-20 and 25-16.
Alice Zeimann scored a match-high 17 points including 3 blocks and 4 aces for New Zealand, while Petra Menderson added 12 points. Perera Kanahalage top scored for Sri Lanka with 14 points from her 11 kills and 3 blocks.
New Zealand’s head coach Alister McKenzie expressed his satisfaction over his team’s performance. “We started the match really slowly. And then when we focused on our serves and started to play intelligently, our game plan worked out effectively.They did some simple things very well. I am happy for my team’s victory We had a short period of training with only five days before this tournament. I hope my players will get more international experience from this tournament.”
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