Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 16, 2017 – In-form Vietnam handed Iran the first loss at the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall following a sensational 25-19 25-17 25-19 victory over the Pool D winners in their first playoff encounter at the round of the last eight teams on Tuesday.
Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who stands 187cm tall, turned a smashing machine for Vietnam as she scored several points in some crucial moments. Going down the first two sets 19-25 17-25, Iran, which did not lose a set to their respective rivals en route to winning Pool D, hit back gallantly with high hopes of taking the third set. However, Vietnam shattered their day dream to end the Iran’s determined efforts 25-19 in the set for an exceptional 3-0 win.
Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who also joined the Vietnam national senior women’s team, scored a match-high 21 points including 17 kills from 33 attempts. She also led in blocking and serving with 2 kill blocks and 2 ace serves. Fatemeh Amini led Iran with 10 points including 9 devastating spikes.
After the match, Vietnam’s head coach Japanese Irisawa Hidehiro said, “I’m happy with the win, but I’m a bit down with my players’ below-par form. It’s far from what we did while training. Actually, we trained only one week in preparation for this championship. That’s why I found it very difficult to change the way they trained previously. Against Malaysia on Wednesday, we will try to improve on our first-ball reception and attacks. If we have to take on hosts Thailand in the semi-finals, I first admit that the Thais are very strong, but we will try our best to beat them. Our initial target of advancing to the semi-finals remains unchanged.”
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