Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 20, 2017 – In-form Thailand, strengthened by three national senior players including hard-hitting Ajcharaporn Kongyot and Pimpichaya Kokram, delighted over 3,500 home fans packing The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall on Saturday after brushing off Vietnam in comfortable straight sets 25-21 25-15 25-20 in the semi-finals of the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship.
The scintillating victory not only secured the Thai squad a final berth at this top-flight championship, but also a spot at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship to be held this year in Slovenia from September 10 to 17. Thailand, runners-up to China at the previous edition in the Philippines two years ago, have yet lost a match to their respective rivals en route to the Sunday’s final, where they will go up against the winners between unbeaten Japan and Chinese Taipei in the other semi-final encounter in Saturday evening.
Chatchu-on Moksri topscored for Thailand with 15 points including 11 kills from 23 attempts. Pimpichaya Kokram added 12 points to the Thai tally, all of them from her devastating attacks. Tran Thi Thanh Thuy led Vietnam with 12 points from ace spikes.
After the match, Thailand’s head coach Nataphon Srisamutnak said, “I’m very delighted that my team can repeat the feat – playing in the final again. We had a good game plan, especially on attacks, while the Vietnamese did not perform well defensively. Our service also lived up to my expectation. Ajcharaporn (Kongyot) also did a good job in this crucial match. I think everyone tried to refrain from making hasty unforced mistakes. However, if we have to take on Japan in the Sunday’s final, we have to start much better than this and rely more on attacks. We have to study the Japan’s game plan and prepare ourselves possible the best. We have already accomplished our goal of making it to the final showdown. We have to prove our ability again in the final clash.”
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