LIPPMANN ON FIRE AS GERMANY SURVIVES AMAZING THAI COMEBACK TO WIN FIVE SET THRILLER
Bangkok, Thailand, May 30, 2018 – Louisa Lippmann scored 22 points in a brilliant display of power and precision as Germany withstood a ferocious comeback to beat Thailand 3-2 (25-23, 28-26, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10) in a heart-stopping encounter in the women’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Wednesday.
Lippmann’s impressive tally included 21 kills as Germany regained their composure just at the right time to snap a six-game losing streak after a two-and-a-half hour thriller of escalating tension.
The German captain Maren Fromm hit the winning spike to end the match with 20 points, joining Lippmann, Marie Scholzel (15), Lisa Grunding (14) and Jennifer Geerties (10) as five German players to reach double figures.
For Thailand, Ajcharaporn Kongyot led the way with 22 points, including 20 spikes from 38 attempts, while Hattaya Bamrungsuk (17), Pleumjit Thinkaow (13) and Pimpichaya Kokram (11) all played superbly in a nail-biting match.
With the win, Germany ended a run of six straight losses to improve to 2-6 while the Pool 11 hosts Thailand dropped to 2-6 after a match that featured not only great shot making but also desperate defence.
Thailand got off to a confident start, winning the first three points and staying in front for most of the first set before Germany drew level.
The teams were locked together at 18-18 before the Europeans surged clear. A long serve from Thailand opposite spiker Malika Kanthongmalike gave Germany set point and after missing their first two chances, they clinched the set at their third go after a thunderous spike from wing spiker Geerties.
That was just the start of an extraordinary match that had the crowd at the Indoor Stadium Huamark on their feet and roaring with excitement.
With neither side able to break away, the scores were tied 14 times in the second set. Germany saved a set point at 23-24 then missed two of their own before Lippmann finally clinched the set with a spike that was deflected out of court.
The third set was another classic, featuring some scrambling saves from both teams and one rally that lasted 56 seconds, and was still in the balance at 20-20 before Thailand pulled ahead.
A powerful spike from the athletic Thinkaow gave the Thais two set points. Germany saved the first but gifted the second to the home side after a service error from Fromm.
Thailand overcame a four-point deficit to win the fourth set and force a decider.
Germany led 11-7 but the Thais fought back and took the lead for good after the teams were locked at 20-20.
A wide shot from Scholzel gave Thailand three set points and they seized the second after Thinkaow blasted a kill down the middle of the court.
Thailand led by two points midway through the shortened fifth set but ran out of steam as Germany drew level at 8-8 and won seven of the last nine points to seal an unforgettable victory.
Thailand hosts the United States in their final Pool 11 match on Thursday while Germany takes on the Dominican Republic.
Germany captain Maren Fromm said: “I’m really happy for my team that, finally after six losses, we got a victory today. We have talked and practised a long time now, so the team deserved that victory. I’m really happy for my team even though team Thailand made it hard for us. We were 2-0 and they fought until the end. Their style of playing is very different to ours. In the third and fourth sets we had problems to control the game, but in the end I’m really happy that we turned the game into a victory.”
Germany coach Felix Koslowski said: “It was such an incredible match today, very intense. I want to congratulate my team; that after six defeats, we finally got this victory. Today we really wanted to win this match and take this victory. The Thai team played very good in the first two sets but we controlled, basically, the game with good serves and reception while continuing with our blocking and defense. In the third and fourth sets, our opponents showed incredible heart in the court and I must congratulate the Thailand team and the whole country for showing us an incredible volleyball atmosphere. In the fifth set, my team made a decision that they really wanted to win this match, bringing their whole heart in the court in defense and in attack. I’m very proud of my whole team and staff for their amazing work. Finally, we got the result that we all deserved.”
Thailand captain Pleumjit Thinkaow said: “Congratulations to team Germany on their victory. We didn’t have a good start in the first two sets. And then we tried to adjust our game plan and got our rhythm back in the next two sets.What a pity we could not win in the fifth set.”
Thailand coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul said: “First of all, I would like to congratulate Germany on their victory. They received very well.We tried to play with our own style in the first two sets but it didn’t work. Moreover, we committed too many mistakes. We tried to adjust something and fought very hard in the third and fourth sets. We tried our best in the deciding set, but we failed in our serve reception and we couldn’t attack them efficiently.”
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