Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 20, 2017 – Uzbekistan overcame a tough challenge from Australia to defeat the crack rivals in hard-fought four- set thriller 25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 26-24 in the 9th-10th playoff which lasted 1.42 hour at the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall on Saturday.
Led by hard-hitting Saida Allamova, Uzbekistan had an impressive start and managed to claim the first two sets 25-23, 25-21. However, with Shannon Winzer courtside coaching greatly influencing the outcome of the game, Australia showed their never-give-up attitude and clawed their way back to seal the hard-fought third set 25-23. The Aussies started well in the fourth set, hoping to regain their best form, but their service errors foiled their efforts. Uzbekistan made the most of their opponents’ hasty errors to claim the close set 26-24 and match.
Saida Allamova scored a match-high 21 points including 20 spikes and 1 block for Uzbekistan, while Anastasiya Kolotova added 12 points. Katrina Janssen topscored for Australia with 20 points from her 18 kills and 2 blocks.
“It was a very difficult match for us. It was a really close game and the Australians played very well. We had to give all out what we had to beat them. I am very happy to win this match,” Uzbekistan’s team captain Saida Allamova said after the match.
“ Actually we trained together for three months before this tournament. We are a young team, so to finish with a ninth place is beyond our expectation. I hope my team will gain some experience from this tournament and will be a stronger team in the near future,” she added.
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