THAILAND STORM INTO QUARTER-FINALS AFTER 3-0 BLITZ OVER SRI LANKA
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, June 14, 2018 – Thailand fielded a virtual second-string lineup to mercilessly crush Sri Lanka in a completely one-sided battle 25-14 25-4 25-9 to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the 19th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium here on Thursday.
Herath H.M.D. Dilrukshi and Balasooriya B.A.S.N. Indrachapa put the underdogs into a 4-1 lead and Sri Lanka maintained that two-gap at 7-5. As the set looked to be edging away from them too easily, Chamnan Dokmai’s girls roared back with accurate serving from Chuleeporn Ritwiset and Wiranyupa Inchan’s powerful attacks. Thailand, fielding more substitutions in this match including Chuleeporn and Natthida Krongchuen, surged into a 13-10 lead. Sri Lanka coach R.P.M.S. Wimalaweera called timeout for his forlorn-looking side and it appeared to do the trick with their comeback to narrow the margin 16-13. However, as the Thai girls were working as a well-oiled machine, the Sri Lankan concentration dropped, allowiing the rivals several scoring opportunities. Thailand wrapped up the easy first set 25-14.
The second set was one-way traffic with the Sri Lankans simply blown away by a fierce Thailand’s barrage, with Wiranyupa and Aonanong Saisri too powerful from spike range. Holding 13-3 advantage, Thailand were much more fired up in the set. Stellar serving from Aonanong and the team’s onslaughts fuelled a momentum swing. Thailand rattled off eight consecutive points, allowing the smaller-built rivals one more point to take the one-sided set 25-4.
Thailand waltzed into a 13-6 lead in the third set as Chuleeporn continued to notch crucial points for the team. Natthida, coupled with Oanchhisa Lonok, was blocking solidly, while Plaifa Payakka’s serving and Aonanong and Natthhida’s spikes were unreturnable. Thailand cruised towards a comfortable 25-9 victory in the set and match.
“I think our girls’ form is not that good. We rested our best players and mostly fielded substitutions. We made too many unforced mistakes in the first set. We had told our players to limit our unforced errors to four points in each set, but 12 of the14 points won by Sri Lanka came from our players’ erratic play in the first set. I think we need to improve on concentration. We next take on Kazakhstan, whose players are tall. However, I’m upbeat that my girls will win that match, but we won’t underestimate the Kazakhs,” Thailand coach Chamnan Dokmai commented after the match.
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