THAILAND OVERPOWER CHINESE TAIPEI 3-1 FOR 3RD PLACE AT ASIAN WOMEN’S U19 CHAMPIONSHIP
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, June 17, 2018 – Thailand overcame a sturdy challenge from Chinese Taipei to beat the formidable rivals in dramatic four sets 25-22 26 24 17-25 25-23 to finish third place at the 19th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium here on Sunday.
Thanacha Sooksod was the lone Thai player who scored a double digit after scoring 25 points including 20 attacks from 53 attempts, while Yeh Yu-Wen led Chinese Taipei with 17 points.
Both teams made a promising start to trade points from the early stage of the first set. Levelling 8-8, Chinese Taipei were error-strewn, allowing attacking opportunities from Thanacha and Wiranyupa Inchan to put Thailand in the lead with a two-point clear at 11-9. As the Thai girls temporarily dropped from their best with lapses of erratic serving, Chinese Taipei engineered a gallant fightback, with Wu Fang-Yu spearheading the assault to close the margin at 16-16. Both sides remained on good form to level the score 20-20. After that, Thanacha unleashed a series of fiery attacks to score a few points at the end of the set and spiked a winner for the Thailand’s 25-22 victory in the hard-fought set.
It seemed to be a similar script as the first set when both teams continued their aggression and consistency from the beginning of the second set. Thanacha put Thailand in front with a one-point clear at 8-7, but Wiranyupa and Saowapha Soosuk pierced into the Taiwanese wall with mighty attacks for the team’s four-point lead at 12-8. As Thailand, boosted by noisy supporters opening cheerful songs, continued their blistering run of points under sensational attacks by Thanacha and Wiranyupa for a commanding 21-17 lead, Chinese Taipei bounced back to level the score at 24-24, but the Thai girls scored consecutive two points for the 26-24 win in the hotly-contested set.
The third set turned out to be one-way traffic as Thailand suffered on poor reception, while Chinese Taipei were on fire. Well-placed serving by Tung Chi-Fang and Yeh Yu-Wen and attacks from Liu Shauang-Ling and Tsai Yu-Chun gave Chinese Taipei a strong comeback in this set. Taking a commanding 18-6 lead, Chinese Taipei, challenged seriously by the Thais throughout the set, went on their excellent combination attacks to take the lopsided battle 25-17.
Gifted Thanacha and Wiranyupa brought Thailand back on track in the fourth set as the superb duo took turns unleashing powerful blows to put the team in front with a 4-point clear at 15-11. However, Chinese Taipei hit back to narrow the margin 22-24. The Thais held on to take the thrilling set 25-23, match and the third place.
“Despite the victory, I’m not quite happy with my girls’ performance as they made too many unforced mistakes, especially in the third set. Before the match, I was so confident that my team would beat Chinese Taipei for sure. However, after we played with a lot of mistakes in the third, I think the cause was that my girls could not maintain their concentration and lack discipline. Fortunately, we won in four sets. If not, we have to get headache in correcting our game plan in the decider,” Thailand head coach Chamnan Dokmai commented.
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