INDIA CLAW THEIR WAY BACK TO DRAMATIC 3-1 WIN AGAINST MALAYSIA
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 21, 2018 – India came from behind to beat spirited Malaysia in dramatic four-setter 22-25 25-22 25-19 25-13 to capture first victory at the 12th Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Municipality Gymnasium on Monday, leaving the lack lustrous Malaysians to finish third in Pool D.
Purna Shukla led India with 14 points including 11 attacks, while Krishna Anagha Radha contributed 11 points including 8 kills. Jia Tian Yong was the Malaysia’s top scorer after claiming 13 points including 8 kills and 4 ace serves.
India made a good start to take an early 17-12 lead in the first set, but temporarily lost their rhythm. The Malaysia made a successful comeback as the smaller-built side caught up with the Indians 17-17 and advanced 24-20. India tried to make amends but their efforts were to no avail. Malaysia took the close set 25-22.
Going down one set, India, which finished second at the recent “Princess Cup” 20th South East Asian Women’s U17 Championship at the same competition here, regained their form and played better. However, Malaysia had already gained confidence after winning the opening set. They challenged India seriously, with Jia Tian Yong and Ho Yee Kei attempting to puncture the Indian defence with their attacks. However, India marched on to win the set 25-22 and repeated the similar feat to win the third set 25-19.
The fourth set turned out to be a totally one-sided battle as India led by a wide margin 17-6 and stretched it to 22-9. Despite a brave fight, Malaysia found it very difficult to catch the Indians, who went on to win the set 25-13 and match.
“I was expecting 3-0, but due to fatigue my players have been suffering since their participation at the recent Princess Cup, our expectation could not be that high. Malaysia also played in the Princess Cup but we were in different pools. In the first set, we lost because when Malaysia attacked, my girls did not respond as I wanted. Moreover, Elakiya M Muthu, one of our key players, also suffered an ankle sprain. Against Kazakhstan, we have to fight and hope that we will have a good fight against them,” commented India head coach Ajay Jangra.
With two straight losses, Malaysia finished third in Pool D. India are due to challenge Kazakhstan in the last preliminary match on Tuesday to decide the pool winners.
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