AUS, KAZ AND IND TASTE FIRST WINS ON DAY 1 AT PRINCESS CUP WOMEN’S U17 CHAMPIONSHIP
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 13, 2018 – Australia, Kazakhstan and India got off to strong starts with comfortable wins over their respective unfancied sides on the opening day of the “Princess Cup” 20th Est Cola South East Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Sports Centre Gymnasium on Sunday.
In the opening Pool A match, a forfeit occurred earlier when Uzbekistan did not show up at the competition court, leaving Thailand, the team they would play, to bag their first win without sweating 25-0 25-0 25-0.
India, making use of their height advantage, thrashed small-built Singapore in convincing three sets 25-17 25-19 25-20 in Pool B. Radha Anagha led India with 14 points including 10 attacks from 16 attempts and 3 effective blocks. Elakiya M. Muthu contributed 12 points including 10 attacks, while Hassan Farah Amelya won 9 points for Singapore.
Kazakhstan also had no problem in their opening Pool B match to send New Zealand packing 25-18 25-21 25-15. Violetta Kurlovich contributed 14 points for Kazakhstan including 11 kills and 3 ace serves, while Emilia Shearer scored 12 points including 10 attacks from 21 attempts for New Zealand.
Australia overcame a strong challenge from Malaysia to win the thrilling four-setter 25-22 27-29 25-19 25-16. Talented Alissa Kinkela scored a match-high 20 points for Australia including 12 kills from 25 attempts and 7 ace serves, while Jia Tian Yong charted 15 points for Malaysia.
“We are very happy with our victory. Since we arrived here on Saturday night so it was quite tough for us to learn that the competition is coming. We are looking forward to a rest day tomorrow (Monday). This is a new group. Our team started training last December, so it is a good experience to play together as a group,”said Australia head coach Mylwa Roantree.
“I believe we can be a strong team and we have to move forward. We have a lot to give. It is also a great experience for my players to compete in international volleyball tournaments,” he added.
At the end of Day 1, Thailand and Australia shared 3 points apiece to finish first and second in Pool A, with Malaysia and Uzbekistan in third and fourth places.
In Pool B, Kazakhstan and India captured the top two spots with the similar 3 points from successive three sets, while Singapore and New Zealand lost their opening encounters to finish third and fourth places.
Eight teams comprising Thailand, Australia, Malaysia and Uzbekistan in Pool A and Kazakhstan, India, Singapore and New Zealand in Pool B are testing their mettle in the invitational tournament, regarded as a warm-up event ahead of their participation in the Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the same competition venue between May 20 and 27.
On Monday, May 14, 2018, New Zealand will take on Singapore, with Kazakhstan playing India and Malaysia going up against the host side.
After the pool round-robin preliminaries, only top two teams from each pool will advance to the cross semi-finals, while teams finishing third and fourth places in each pool will be relegated to 5th-8th classification.
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