AUSSIES VICTORIOUS IN ALL-OCEANIA AFFAIR AGAINST KIWIS
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 20, 2018 – Australia struggled hard to narrowly edge past New Zealand 3-1 (25-23 25-23 17-25 28-26) in an all-Oceania battle of the 12th Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Municipality Gymnasium on Sunday.
Alissa Kinkela led Australia with 18 points including 14 kills from 46 attempts, while Amelies Jones added 11 points including 9 attacks. Emilia Shearer scored a team-high 20 points including 16 kills from 54 attempts for New Zealand and Mama Vaipulu contributed 19 points including13 kills.
Both teams came up with almost the same level in the first two sets. As Australia excelled in their attacks, the Kiwis shone through their defense capabilities. Nonetheless, the better final assault has earned Aussies the 25-23 25-23 victory in both sets.
The third set turned out to be a different chapter when New Zealand led all the ways, courtesy of sharp attacks from Maama Vaipulu and Sarah Stratton to clinch the set 25-17.
Holding a 2-1 advantage, Australia put their acts together and went all-out in the fourth set with an aim of winning the match in four sets, but New Zealand taught them victory never comes easily. The Kiwis fought hard to force deuce at 24-all and again 26-all. After a thrilling rally at the end of the set, Australia proved steadier to win two successive points for the hard-fought 28-26 win.
Australia coach Myles Roantree expressed his satisfaction over the win against New Zealand. “Wonderful. It was a great fight and a close match, but we’ still have a lot to learn. Every time we play, we’ll be improving and getting better. We have to keep going into the rest of the tournament. We look forward to our next match against Iran. We heard a lot about Iran, but have never seen or played them. It will be a great opportunity to play them. I think playing a team with new style will be a lot of fun.”
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