JAPAN OVERPOWER THAILAND 3-0 FOR SECOND WIN AT ASIAN WOMEN’S U19 CHAMPIONSHIP
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, June 11, 2018 – In-form Japan brushed off Thailand 3-0 (25-22 25-19 25-21) with power attacks and incredible speed at the net for their two successive wins at the 19th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium here on Monday.
Haruna Yamashita led Japan with 17 points including 13 kills from 22 attempts, while Miyu Nakagawa and Ayumi Yoshida contributed 12 and 10 points respectively. Thanacha Sooksod emerged as the top scorer for Thailand with 12 points as Piyarat Buddawong produced 3 ace serves for the losers.
Both sides got off to a confident start to tie 9-9 in the opening set, but moments later, the mighty Japan took the upper hand, with Ayumi Yoshida attacking devastatingly. Thailand tightened their defence and struck back with sharp attacks from Thanacha Sooksod and Wiranyupa Inchan. Their determination worked out pretty well as the Thais were found hot in the formidable rivals’ heels. As Japan took a narrow 24-22 lead, Ayumi Yoshida overpowered the blockers with her thundering spike to end the Thai challenge in the first set 25-22.
The second set remained the similar pattern as Japan played a fast game, loaded with exceptional attacks from Ayaka Araki and Saki Goya. Japan took the set 25-19.
Thailand took an initial 8-6 lead in the third set, forcing the Japanese to keep pace with the spirited rivals. As Japan met Thailand at 17-17, the Thai nerves became to fray at the near end of the set and Japan seized the chance to uncork mighty attacks, scintillating blocks and well-placed serves. Japan captured the thrilling set 25-2 and match.
“Thailand played well with fighting spirit. Compared with Thailand, we made more mistakes in the third set. Thailand came up with frustrations indeed. We did not play well in the third set and to me, that was dissatisfying. Between Thailand and China, I think Thailand are better defensively, but the Chinese had the greater attacks. We next take on Vietnam. If we play the host side the way we did today, we will have a difficult match. However, our players have the similar talents and I equally trust each of them. That means anyone can play for the team in the match against Vietnam,” Japan head coach Kiyoshi Abo commented.
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